SHAH ALAM, 13 Jan: Two members of the Special Action Unit (UTK) have been sentenced to death by the Federal Court today after being found guilty of murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu, nine years ago.
The panel of five Federal Court judges chaired by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria, unanimously set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal on August 23, 2013, that acquitted Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar after allowing their appeal.
Citing Berita Harian Online, the court made the decision after finding that the Court of Appeal erred in its decision.
The four other judges on the five-man Federal Court bench today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, and Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.
In the judgement read by Suriyadi, the court was satisfied that the two respondents failed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
Suriyadi said that the alibi notice submitted to the prosecution was not supported by strong evidence from both respondents.
He said that the court found that both respondents had a common intention to commit murder, supported by evidence of the deceased’s personal belongings found with the second respondent (Sirul Azhar).
Meanwhile, the court issued a warrant of arrest against Sirul Azhar after failing to be present to accept the judgement.
The prosecution was headed by the deputy public prosecutor, Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah; advocate Kuldeep Kumar and Datuk Hazman Ahmad, representing Azilah as the first respondent, while Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin was acting on behalf of the second respondent, Sirul Azhar.
On April 9, 2009, the Shah Alam High Court sentenced the two respondents to death after finding them guilty of the murder.
Both respondents were charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, at Mukim Bukit Raja, Shah Alam, between 10 pm on October 19 and 1 am on October 20, 2006.