PETALING JAYA: One of the policemen charged with the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu wants the Attorney-General to release to him all documents that are in his Chambers’ possession that could contradict the prosecution’s case.
The Shah Alam High Court will hear Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar’s application tomorrow.
Lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, who appeared for Kpl Sirul, filed the papers last Friday and served them on the A-G’s Chambers yesterday.
He said his client was also seeking all expert reports and statements recorded from all the potential witnesses in the case.
Kamarul Hisham, however, dispelled rumours that the main trial scheduled for June 4 would be put off.
Lawyer Ram Karpal Singh, who is holding a watching brief for Altantuya’s family, said the victim’s father and cousin sister, who have been listed as witnesses, would be flown in next week along with some Mongolian government officials.
A Mongolian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said the representatives from the Mongolian Justice and Internal Affairs Ministry as well as the Foreign Affairs Ministry would be here next month to monitor the trial, which involves prominent political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.
The spokesman said they were particularly interested to see how the trial would be conducted in the interest of the Mongolian public.
Sources from the prosecution side said the witnesses would be flown in a few days before the trial, which is scheduled for one month. They said there had not been any request for postponement by any party.
Zulkifli Noordin, who acted for the first accused Cif Insp Azilah Hadri, could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Abdul Razak Baginda also wants access to all the witnesses’ statements in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial. (STAR, Chelsea LY NG & Cecil Fung).
The 47-year-old political analyst, who is facing a murder abetment charge, informed the court through his counsel Wong Kian Kheong yesterday that he supported the application made by murder accused Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar.
High Court Justice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin will decide on Tuesday whether to allow them access to all the statements
Such documents, he said, would include records of prosecution witnesses’ previous convictions and details relating to whether any of the prosecution witnesses had asked for rewards as an incentive to testify.
It is not known whether the other accused, Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, supported the application because he and his counsel Zulkifli Noordin were absent.
At the outset of yesterday’s proceedings, DPP Salehuddin Saidin told the court that he had handed over to the defence some of the documents sought by them such as the post-mortem, chemist, ballistic, dental, radiologist and DNA reports.
The senior prosecutor, however, denied that his team had any knowledge of prosecution witnesses asking for rewards.
Kamarul Hisham mentioned that the defence was still waiting for other documents such as photographs as well as transcribed SMSes and telephone conversations of each accused.
He argued that since his client’s interest was at stake, Kpl Sirul Azhar should be given access to the witnesses’ statements to prepare his defence.
Wong said the access should be given in the interest of justice and transparency.
Salehuddin argued that the defence’s request was unprecedented.
“I am sure if the witnesses’ statements are given to the defence, no one will dare to come forward and offer to give evidence.
“The application ought to be dismissed,” he said, adding that the law currently already outlined what information the defence should get before the commencement of a trial.
He cautioned the court that there might also be the danger of witness tampering.
Kamarul Hisham said that if his application was not successful, he said he would seek an appeal but would not ask for a stay of proceedings.
Rumours had been circulating that the case would face a postponement. It is scheduled to start on June 4 and go on for a month.
Even the presiding judge Justice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin appeared concerned with the timing of Kamarul Hisham’s application when he remarked that it should have been filed earlier.
The judge had even postponed two other part-heard cases just to hear submissions from the parties on the application yesterday.
Another lawyer, Kitson Foong, has joined Kpl Sirul Azhar’s defence team.