KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak reiterated today that he has never met Altantuya Shaariibuu, denying court testimony by the murdered Mongolian model’s cousin.

“That is slander. Lies. I never met her,” he was reported saying by Malaysiakini at Cameron Highlands today.

He was asked to respond to Altantuya’s first cousin Burmaa Oyunchimeg, who testified at the High Court in Shah Alam that Altantuya showed her a photo of herself, her lover Abdul Razak Baginda, and a deputy prime minister named “Razak” while testifying as first witness in the family’s RM100 million civil lawsuit against the Malaysian government.

Najib also pointed out that he had previously sworn in a mosque about the matter.

Altantuya was brutally murdered in the jungles of Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, with a shot to the head before her body was blown up with explosives in 2006.

Abdul Razak was a political analyst and had headed a think tank called the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre based in Kuala Lumpur previously.

He was also an adviser to Najib when the latter was defence minister (2000 to 2008) and deputy prime minister (between January 2004 and April 2009) before taking over as prime minister from April 3, 2009 to May last year.

Najib has repeatedly denied knowing Altantuya or that he had any part in her death.

Altantuya’s parents Shaariibuu Setev and Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and Altantuya’s two sons had on June 4, 2007 filed the civil lawsuit to claim compensation for the mental shock and psychological trauma they suffered over her death.

However, one of Altantuya’s two sons, 15-year-old Alatanshagai Munkhtukga, was removed as plaintiff when he died in 2017.

In the lawsuit where Altantuya’s family is seeking RM100 million as compensation, Sirul Azhar Umar, Azilah Hadri, Abdul Razak and the government of Malaysia were named as defendants.

Sirul and Azilah were convicted by the High Court in 2009 of killing Altantuya. They succeeded in overturning their conviction at the Court of Appeal in 2013, but the Federal Court in 2015 restored their conviction and sentenced them to death.

Abdul Razak was acquitted of abetting the two former police officers in her murder.

Sirul had escaped to Australia after the Court of Appeal ruling and is currently under detention there as Australian laws do not allow extraditions to a country with the death penalty. Azilah is on death row here.