Thursday, January 15, 2015

Australia will not send back Sirul to face death penalty

 | January 15, 2015
AG’s Department says Australia's extradition legislation prohibits a person being surrendered to another country for an offence punishable by death.
sirul australia refuse2KUALA LUMPUR: Australia will refuse a Malaysian government request to extradite to Kuala Lumpur a former Malaysian police commando sentenced to death for the murder of a pregnant Mongolian socialite.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Department as saying Australia’s extradition legislation did not allow a person to be surrendered to another country for an offence punishable by death unless the country had given Australia an undertaking that the death penalty would not be carried out.

Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, who was murdered in Malaysia in 2006 allegedly wanted US$500,000 to remain silent about a defence ministry submarine deal.
The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld the death penalty for Sirul Azhar Umar, a former bodyguard of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and one of the key figures in a sensational case in Kuala Lumpur involving allegations of high-level corruption and political intrigue.
Sirul is believed to be living now in Australia.
Malaysian police have asked Australian authorities to arrest and extradite Sirul, one of two policemen convicted over the murder of the socialite Altantuya Shaariibuu.
The request came as Australia prepares to make what Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week described as the “strongest possible representations” on behalf of Myuran Sukumaran, the Bali Nine drug mule on death row whose bid for clemency has been rejected by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
“Australia opposes the death penalty. We oppose the death penalty for Australians at home and abroad,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh said Malaysia will seek the co-operation of the Australian Federal Police to arrest Sirul who, according to immigration records, travelled to Australia in October and failed to attend Tuesday’s court hearing before a panel of federal court judges that ordered he and former Malaysian chief inspector Azilah Hadri be executed by hanging.
The paper reports that allegations have simmered for eight years that Altantuya, 28, was murdered to keep her quiet about purported kickbacks to high-level Malaysian officials.
According to court testimony, Altantuya begged for her life and that of her unborn child before she was shot twice in the head, wrapped in C4 plastic explosives and blown up in Kuala Lumpur’s suburbs on October 19, 2006.
The government has refused to hold an inquiry into the case, which centres on Malaysia’s US$2 billion purchase of two French- and Spanish-built Scorpene submarines in 2002 when Najib was defence minister. Altantuya worked as a translator in the latter stages of negotiations.
French investigators in Paris are looking into so-called “commission” payments totalling about $US160 million to companies reportedly set up by Abdul Razak Baginda, a friend and policy adviser to Najib.
Altantuya was a lover of Baginda and admitted in a letter found after her murder that she had been blackmailing him. She allegedly wanted a US$500,000 cut to remain silent about her knowledge of the submarine deal.
Baginda is believed to be living in Britain.
Both Azilah and Sirul denied any involvement in the murder

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