Altantuya's Father withdraws application against Razak Baginda's acquittal

SHAH ALAM, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- The High Court here today struck out the application by Altantuya Shaaribuu's father relating to the Attorney-General's decision not to appeal against the acquittal of Abdul Razak Baginda in the murder of the Mongolian woman.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Hinshawati Shariff made the order after Karpal Singh, counsel of Shaariibuu Setev, informed the court that his client was withdrawing the application.

Karpal Singh said that based on Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution, there were two case law rulings by the Federal Court in 1974 and 1977 that the Public Prosecutor had full discretion whether or not to appeal.

"If we were to go on, the application would have to concede at the High Court and Court of Appeal and then to persuade the Federal Court to review its decision would take a lot of costs.

"I advised my client to withdraw the application and he has agreed to this. So I request the court to withdraw the application with no order as to costs," he said.

Senior federal counsel Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said acted for the Attorney-General while Abdul Razak was represented by counsel Wong Kian Kheong.

Abdul Razak, 48, was charged with abetting two policemen in the murder of the 28-year-old Mongolian in 2006. He was acquitted and discharged by Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin on Oct 31 last year without his defence being called.

Shaariibuu filed the judicial review application on Dec 24.

Two others -- Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 33, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, -- were found guilty on April 9 of murdering Altantuya and sentenced to death.

Meanwhile, when met outside the court, Karpal Singh told reporters that although Shaariibuu had decided to drop the application, he would proceed with the claim against Abdul Razak, Azilah, Sirul Azhar and Government of Malaysia for damages over Altantuya's death.

"The government should accept the responsibility and pay the damages since the two police officers were convicted of murdering Altantuya. We appeal to the government to have this matter settled out of court, otherwise this will go on and on.

"I hope the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) will direct the AG (Attorney-General) for out-of-court settlement by paying the damages to Shaariibuu for the death of his daughter. It is best for the country since Altantuya was brutally murdered here. The Altantuya saga must end," he said.

Altantuya's parents, Shaariibuu and Altantsetseg Sanjaa, and her two sons, Mungunshagai Bayarjargal and Altanshagai Munkhtulga, aged 11 and six, filed the suit on June 4, 2007, seeking RM100 million in damages over her death.

In their statement of claim, the family said her death had caused them mental shock and psychological trauma, entitling them to be compensated with exemplary and aggravated damages.

The case was set for mention on Nov 25.

MySinchew 2009.09.14