Recent revelations by businessman Deepak Jaikishan, lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu, and private investigator P Balasubramniam constitute as ‘new evidence’, says the Bar Council.
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar Council today established there was sufficient new evidence for the attorney-general to reopen investigations in the 2006 murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.
“The revelations by Deepak Jaikishan, the late P Balasubramaniam, and Americk Singh Sidhu raised sufficient concern to warrant further investigations by the authorities,” Bar Council president Christopher Leong said in a statement today.
“Such further investigations may or may not lead to anything new, but we would only know if additional investigations are in fact undertaken,” he added.
Leong was responding to the Attorney-General’s Chambers statement on Wednesday that it would consider reopening investigations into Altantuya’s gruesome murder only if there was new evidence.
Attorney-General G Abdul Gani Patail said this after the Bar Council urged him to reopen the murder case following revelations from the late Balasubramaniam’s lawyer, Americk, at the council’s annual general meeting.
Americk had claimed that senior lawyer Cecil Abraham was responsible for drafting the private investigator’s second statutory declaration (SD) in 2008.
The second SD had reversed all claims made in Balasubramaniam’s first SD, which had implicated Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in Altantuya’s murder.
“Thus, the issue presently is not whether the AG has the discretion [to reopen investigations], but whether there is sufficient cause for him to do so,” Leong said.
Leong pointed out that businessman Deepak’s reaffirmation to the media that Balasubramaniam’s second SD was written to recant the first SD, as well as his role in the matter, was already considered as new evidence.
Deepak had claimed late last year that Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the prime minister, had requested him to persuade Balasubramaniam to write the second SD.
While Rosmah had not refuted Deepak’s allegation, she wrote in her biography that she played no direct role in Altantuya’s murder.
Question of motive
“Taken at face value, such revelations may speak to the possible motive for the events that led to the demise of Altantuya Shaariibuu,” said Leong.
He stressed that the question of motive had been unsatisfactorily dealt with when two police officers were found guilty by the High Court of murdering Altantuya. The third accused Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib, had been acquitted.
“The High Court stated: ‘Whatever his motive was, it is a matter of law that the ‘motive’ although relevant has never been the essential to constitute murder’,” quoted Leong.
But Leong pointed out that motive might be important in cases where there was doubt as to whether a person had the intention to commit a crime, or where there were questions as to whether there might be more people connected with or involved in the crime, and the nature or extent of such connection or involvement. – FMT