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Friday, 19 October 2012

The Murder of Altantuya

Written by John Berthelsen
THURSDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2012

Six years on, troubling questions remain about the Mongolian beauty's death, and who ordered it

It will be six years tomorrow since bodyguards for now-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak dragged the Mongolian translator and party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu out of a car in a patch of jungle near the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam.

As she begged for her life and apparently that of her unborn child, they knocked her unconscious, then shot her twice in the head.

That was Oct. 19, 2006. According to court testimony, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, members of the elite Unit Tindakan Khas, both assigned to Najib’s office, then wrapped Altantuya’s body in C4 plastic explosives and blew her up, possibly to mangle her remains so badly that the fetus would be destroyed.

Sirul Azhar was interrogated by police shortly after the murder was discovered. He was informed that anything he said could be held against him, in accordance with the law. In his cautioned statement, as his confession was called in Malaysia, he told authorities he and Azilah had been offered RM100,000 to kill the woman and her two companions, who were causing highly public embarrassment for Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib’s best friend. The 28-year-old Mongolian woman, in a letter found after her death, wrote that she was sorry she had been blackmailing Razak Baginda.

If French police records are to be believed, Razak Baginda was allegedly central to a massive bribery case in which a total of nearly €150 million in payments were steered to two Razak Baginda companies, Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Hong Kong Ltd.

As Asia Sentinel reported earlier this year, records seized by the French police show that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe were aware of the transactions. Memos obtained by Asia Sentinel show the French expected at least part of the money to be steered to the United Malays National Organization, Malaysia’s biggest ethnic political party.

Read the rest here:The Murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu

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