KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Malaysia is still waiting for Australia’s official reply on a request to extradite Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar, who was sentenced to death for killing Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Though reports have emerged that Australia will not be sending Sirul back, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police were still waiting for an official confirmation on the matter.
“Let us hear from them before we decide on our next move,” he said.
Yesterday, Australian paper Sydney Morning Herald, quoting an unnamed source from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, said Australia’s extradition legislation prohibited someone from being sent back to another country for an offence punishable by death, unless that country pledged not to carry out the death sentence.
The paper also said Australia would face a diplomatic dilemma as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was against the death penalty, had signed an extradition treaty with Malaysia in 2006.
Sirul was one of two former police commandos sentenced to death over the 2006 murder of 28-year-old Altantuya.
On Tuesday, the Federal Court allowed an appeal by the prosecution, and sentenced Sirul and Chief Insp Azilah Hadri to the gallows, overturning their acquittal by the Court of Appeal in August 2013.
Sirul did not turn up at the hearing and Federal CID director Datuk Mohmad Salleh confirmed he had left for Australia last October.
Police said it was not wrong for a person awaiting decision on appeal to leave the country as long as he returned on the day of judgment.
It was reported Sirul did not have enough money to return to Malaysia.
Altantuya, who worked as a translator, was brutally murdered with her remains, believed to have been destroyed by C4 explosives, discovered in the outskirts of Shah Alam.
During the August 23, 2013 acquittal, the Court of Appeal ruled the High Court trial judge’s misdirection had rendered the duo’s 2009 death sentence and conviction unsafe.