KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 ― Murder convict Sirul Azhar Umar is unhappy and disappointed that some politicians would use his family to gain mileage on the controversies surrounding the death of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibuu, his lawyer Hasnal Redzua Merican said.
Malay daily Utusan Malaysia reported the lawyer saying he had received phone calls from the former police commando who is currently under detention in Australia yesterday, after learning that his mother Piah Samat had been meeting several politicians from both PAS and Umno.
“He is very disappointed with the actions of some people who are trying to drag this case into the political arena.
“He did not know about his mother and uncle meeting with Mahfuz and Dr Mahathir. He did not agree to it and is unhappy about it. His mother did not inform him about the meeting yesterday,” Hasnal was quoted saying.
The lawyer was referring to the most recent meeting Sirul’s mother and uncle had with PAS lawmaker Datuk Mahfuz Omar and which involved Umno elder Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Yayasan Perdana in Putrajaya Wednesday.
Piah had previously also met with former Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief Datuk Khiruddin Abu Hassan.
The lawyer also said Sirul fears the statements issued by politicians on his conviction for killing Altantuya might jeopardise his chances of staying in Australia, where he is protected by the country’s laws against the death sentence he faces here.
Sirul is reportedly in the midst of a legal clearance process in Australia to obtain a permission to stay put in the country and avoid returning to Malaysia to face the gallows.
“I know there are those who truly care, but there are those who are trying to take advantage of this matter. Sirul pleads to all to stop issuing statements hereafter. Let us and the Australian lawyers handle this case,” Hasnal was quoted saying.
Mahfuz, who is Pokok Sena MP, revealed to reporters in Parliament yesterday that he had arranged a meeting between Sirul’s mother and Dr Mahathir and will be arranging a phone session with the fugitive and the former prime minister next.
The PAS parliamentary whip said that the phone call would provide Sirul the chance to tell Dr Mahathir his “side of the story.”
He said while Dr Mahathir did not promise anything during the meeting yesterday, he appeared attentive when listening to Sirul’s mother.
Over the weekend, the former prime minister urged the police to investigate the former police commando’s claim that he killed Altantuya under orders, saying it was “grossly unfair” to send hang Sirul for obeying instructions.
Dr Mahathir said Sirul, who is now in Australia, should be allowed to state his case as he had already said he was only carrying out orders.
Sirul and another former police commando, Azilah Hadri, were charged with murdering Altantuya in 2006 and convicted by the High Court in 2009.
They were freed after the appellate court acquitted them in 2013, but the Federal Court reversed the acquittal in January and sent them back to hang, marking the end to the eight-year saga.
Sirul was a no-show during the Federal Court hearing and it was later revealed that he is in Australia.
Malaysia is seeking to extradite him to face his sentencing but he remains in Sydney as Australia’s laws forbid its government from sending criminals to countries that have the death penalty.