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Malaysia sentences 2 cops in Mongolian murder

Malaysia sentences 2 cops in Mongolian murder

A Malaysian court sentenced two policemen to death Thursday on charges of murdering a Mongolian woman who was blown up with explosives after her yearlong affair with the prime minister's friend ended in a messy disagreement.
The verdict closes another chapter in a case that has riveted the nation, become fodder for the opposition's election campaigns and spawned intense public speculation about political conspiracies and sex scandals in high places.
Wrapping up a 159-day trial, High Court Judge Zaki Yasin ruled that he found the defense of Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar "unbelievable" as "each of them are blaming the other."
He said he was convicting "both of you as charged" with murdering 28-year-old Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu sometime between Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, 2006.
"They failed to raise any reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case," said Zaki.
The defendants looked emotionless as the verdict was being read. Defense lawyers said they would appeal.
Last year, Zaki acquitted Abdul Razak Bangida, a close associate of Prime Minister Najib Razak, of charges of abetting the murder. Zaki ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a case against Abdul Razak, a well-known defense analyst who moved to Britain after his acquittal.
In his defense, Abdul Razak had admitted to having an affair with Shaariibuu, beginning in late 2004.
He portrayed Shaariibuu as a manipulative gold-digger, saying he gave her $10,000 after hearing "sob stories" about her financial situation, but later found them to be untrue and ended the affair in 2005.
According to Abdul Razak, Shaariibuu kept pestering him for money and threatened to go public with their affair, prompting him to seek help from a private investigator and later from the two policemen, who work for an elite unit assigned to VIP security.
The two policemen are alleged to have picked up Shaariibuu from outside Abdul Razak's house on the evening of Oct. 19, 2006. They are alleged to have taken her to a jungle clearing in central Selangor state, shot her to death and blown up her body with military explosives.
Although Abdul Razak has been acquitted, the prosecution has not said what motive the two policemen could have for killing her.


Updated : 2021-10-20 02:18 GMT+08:00