KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — PAS MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar insisted today that Sirul Azhar Umar had never objected to his mother’s meeting with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite claims by the murder convict’s lawyers that their client had not agreed to it.
The federal lawmaker also told The Malaysian Insider that he was unsure why the lawyers said Sirul was disappointed with how his case is being played out in the media.
“Also, the mother and I had earlier informed him about the possibility of the meeting and he consented to it,” he was quoted saying in the news portal’s report.
The Pokok Sena MP added that Sirul’s mother Piah Samat and his uncle had even contacted the former police commando, who is now seeking asylum in Australia, a day before meeting with Dr Mahathir.
Even at that time, he told The Malaysian Insider, Sirul had not objected to the meeting.
“So, I don’t understand why Sirul’s lawyers are telling the media that he is disappointed and that politicians are using his mother and uncle for political mileage,” Mahfuz was quoted saying.
According to The Star Online today, Sirul’s lawyer Kamarul Hashim Kamaruddin said his client wants to put a stop to people citing remarks he purportedly made, even those backing him, for fear that it would jeopardise his asylum bid in Australia.
“References to statements purportedly made by him is only going to injure his case and prejudice his legal position in Australia,” he was quoted saying in the English daily’s report today.
The lawyer also confirmed that Sirul had not known that his mother Piah had been brought to meet with Dr Mahathir earlier this week.
On Friday, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia quoted Hasnal Redzua Merican, another of Sirul’s lawyer, as saying that the former police commando was disappointed that his family was being used by some politicians to gain political mileage.
The daily reported the lawyer saying he had received phone calls from Sirul who is currently under detention in Australia on Thursday, after learning that his mother had been meeting several politicians from both PAS and Umno.
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.
Mahfuz had revealed to reporters in Parliament on Wednesday 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.
Last weekend, Dr Mahathir urged the police to investigate the former police commando’s claim that he killed Altantuya under orders, saying it was “grossly unfair” to sentence Sirul to hang 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.