Discrepancy in CCTV Recordings and Accused Led Police to Crime Scene

18 July 2007
Shah Alam

On the 20th day of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, the video tape recordings from Hotel Malaya were played back to the High Court, but left many questions as to the date stamps that were recorded. Three closed-circuit television (CCTV) tapes were surrendered to the police on 10 November 2006, but the first tape showed a date stamp of 11 November. Sergeant Amran Abdul Aziz took the tapes and some bills and telephone records made by Altantuya during her stay there.

Hotel operations manager Jimmy Loo Mow Chan had earlier agreed with counsel Hasnal Rezua Merican, who is representing accused Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, that the recording dated 11 November would have been made on the same day. He also admitted to counsel Hazman Ahmad, who is representing accused Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, that the tape that was meant for 18 October also contained recordings made on several other days such as 19 September, 18 and 19 August last year, as the tape had been recycled for previous months’ recordings.

Loo then explained that four other staff had access to the CCTV tapes which were under his care. The system would take images from each of the 16 cameras in sequence and the time lapse between two consecutive images from the same camera is about 8 seconds. Three-hour VHS tapes were used to record 24 hours of such images.

Hasnal highlighted that the date of 11 November was written on the tapes that were dated 9 and 18 October with two signatures. Loo suggested that the discrepancy could be due to a “technical fault”.

The CCTV surveillance system had been in operation since 2001 and only broke down once in June this year.

Superintendent Zainol Samah took the stand as the prosecution’s 19th witness. He is the chief officer of the Kuala Lumpur police contingent’s special investigations division and had ordered Assistant Superintendent Zulkarnain Samsudin to arrest Corporal Sirul Azilah on 1 November 2006.

Azilah was taken into police custody at 10:30am. Arresting officer Samsudin then arranged for an identification parade for political analyst’s Abdul Razak Baginda’s private investigator, P. Balasubramaniam, upon Zainol’s order.

Zainol said when he learnt on 2 November 2006 that Azilah had not said anything, he handed Azilah over to the Bukit Aman D6 technical aid and interrogation police unit. Deputy Superintendent Zainudin Abdul Samad carried out the interrogation but Zainol was not updated on its progress.

On 6 November 2006 at 3:30pm, Special Action Force (UTK) deputy chief Mastor Mohd Ariff, together with two UTK operatives, had called on Zainol’s office. Zainol was with Deputy Superintendent Gan Tack Guan, an investigating officer of the case, at the time. Mastor introduced Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri to him, saying that he was arrested.

ASP Tonny Lunggan then informed Zainol at 4:15pm that both arrested officers had made a disclosure and agreed to lead a police team to the crime scene at Puncak Alam, where the remains of Mongolian Altantuya were found.

Zainol then arranged for the forensics team, lead by Superintendent Amidon Anan, to meet a police team at a road near Universiti Teknologi Mara at 6:30pm. The police convoy left towards Kuala Selangor, led by Lunggan who was in the same vehicle as Azhar.

The Star Online – ‘Duo agreed to lead cops to murder scene’
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/18/nation/18335264&sec=nation>

The Star Online – Recording stamped ‘Nov 11’ queried
<URL:http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/18/nation/18335286&sec=nation>

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: Witness: Sirul led police to scene of the crime
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/National/20070718090512/Article/index_html>

New Straits Times – Altantuya murder trial: Discrepancies in dates on CCTV recordings
<URL:http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/National/20070718085923/Article/index_html>

MCW – CCTV Images Show Two Men were at Hotel Malaya
<URL:http://malaysiacrimewatch.lokety.com/cctv-images-show-two-men-were-at-hotel/>

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