Azilah Hadri’s trial lawyer says still working on pardon for Altantuya murder, not part of apex court review bid

File photo of Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar (heads covered) during one of their court appearances in 2009. — Picture by Choo Choy May
File photo of Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar (heads covered) during one of their court appearances in 2009. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 — Former police commando Azilah Hadri’s application for a royal pardon for his conviction over the 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu is still awaiting a decision, his lawyer said today.

Datuk Hazman Ahmad, who represented Azilah in the murder trial at the High Court and in subsequent appeals at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, also clarified today that he is only the lawyer for Azilah in the pardon application.

Hazman said he does not know who is representing Azilah in the latter’s application for the Federal Court to review its 2015 decision to uphold his conviction and death sentence.

“As far as I am concerned, for the pardon papers, yes, I was never discharged. For the review, I have no idea,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

Hazman confirmed that he has not spoken to Azilah after news reports yesterday of the latter’s statutory declaration — which contained shocking allegations on Altantuya’s murder — in support of the review application.

“It was done without my knowledge. I presume he wants to engage another lawyer,” he said of the review application.

As for the pardon application filed in January 2016, Hazman said the last communication from the Selangor Pardons Board was months after that, when it asked for further evidence to support the request.

“There is no decision yet by the pardons board,” he said, confirming that the pardons board could either decide on its own or could also call for Azilah’s lawyers to present their case.

In 2015, the Federal Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of Azilah and former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar, reinstating the High Court’s conviction and mandatory death sentence on the duo over Altantuya’s murder.

Azilah has been on death row in Malaysian prisons since then, while Sirul did not show up in court for the Federal Court decision and was later found in Australia where he is believed to remain under detention by Australian authorities until today.

In Azilah’s October 2019 statutory declaration which was released yesterday in full by news portal Malaysiakini, the former police Special Action Unit (UTK) officer claimed that Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the then deputy prime minister had in 2006 allegedly given him the orders to kill Altantuya and dispose of her body with explosives.

Najib has however dismissed Azilah’s claims as a “complete fabrication” and maintained his innocence while also welcoming police investigations into the allegations.

Azilah’s review application is fixed for case management at the Federal Court today.

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