KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The High Court has drawn an adverse inference against political analyst Razak Baginda in a lawsuit filed by Altantuya Shaariibuu’s family over her unlawful killing, Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported today.

Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, now a Federal Court judge, noted that Razak did not testify under oath or call witnesses in his defence. This decision led to several unanswered questions, particularly regarding his romantic relationship with Altantuya from November 2004 to August 2005.

“Despite the opportunity to explain by taking the stand, he chose not to. There is clear oblique motive on the part of the third defendant (Razak) in electing to submit that there is no case to answer,” Vazeer said in a 90-page judgment released last week.

According to the news report, Vazeer invoked an adverse inference against Razak under Section 114(g) of the Evidence Act 1950 due to his refusal to testify.

In December 2022, Vazeer, then sitting in the Shah Alam High Court, held former policemen Azilah Hadri, Sirul Azhar Umar, Razak, and the federal government liable for Altantuya’s death, ordering them to jointly pay RM5 million in damages to her family.

The judgment noted a meeting in Razak’s office on October 17, 2006, where Azilah suggested “finishing off” Altantuya. Razak allegedly responded that such an action was unnecessary, as her family would search for him if anything happened to her. Razak’s failure to explain his actions on the night of October 19, 2006, when Altantuya was seen outside his house, weakened his defence.

Altantuya’s parents, Shaariibuu Setev and Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and her son, Mungunshagai, filed a suit in 2007, claiming a conspiracy surrounding her murder and seeking RM100 million in damages. Altantuya was killed in 2006, and her body was blown up with C4 explosives in a forest near Shah Alam. Azilah and Sirul were convicted and sentenced to death for her murder.

Razak, a former aide to then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was acquitted of abetting the murderers without his defence being called. Sirul fled to Australia before the final appeal, while Azilah remains on death row in Kajang prison. Neither challenged the family’s lawsuit.

The report said Vazeer concluded that the plaintiffs proved their case on a balance of probabilities, establishing that Altantuya was last seen alive on October 19, 2006, in Sirul’s car with the two policemen. Both Azilah and Sirul admitted to police officers that they killed Altantuya by shooting her and then blowing up her body.

The judge said Razak’s actions indicated his involvement in the plan, asserting that he conspired with the policemen. “I find that the plaintiffs have established that Razak was complicit in the killing of Altantuya by the cops and as such is liable for the unlawful killing,” Vazeer stated.

Vazeer deemed the RM5 million damages fair, considering the brutality of the murder and the conspiracy involved. He condemned the actions of the policemen in the strongest terms.

Both Razak and the government have appealed the High Court’s decision on liability and the damages awarded. Last December, FMT reported that Altantuya’s family lawyers were exploring a resolution with the government without proceeding with the appeal.