KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Murder convict Sirul Azhar Umar wants to put a stop to people citing remarks he purportedly made, even by those backing him, as it could jeopardise his case, his lawyer said.
According to The Star Online, lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin confirmed this, saying his client does not want his case to be turned into a political dispute or be used to help anyone’s political agenda.
“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 Samat had been brought to meet with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
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 with several politicians from both PAS and Umno.
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 Dr Mahathir at Yayasan Perdana in Putrajaya on 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.
Mahfuz, who is Pokok Sena MP, 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, 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.