REMEMBER Zulkifli Noordin (photo Malaysiakini)? He was the lawyer who discharged himself from defending 1st accused in the Altantuya trials – chief inspector Azilah Hadri on June 4, alledging 3rd party inteference in the case. He said: “There were serious attempts by third parties to interfere with the defence that I proposed”.

In an exclusive interview with SUARA KEADILAN 3-17 JULY EDITION (PKR’s party organ) recently, Zulkifli said that “The Altantuya case will be like Anwar Ibrahim’s. Many “mysterious’ things that benefit the third parties will be happening”. He also spoke about Azilah’s character and why he (Zulkifli) had to dislodge himself from Malaysia’s trial of the century. In not so many words, he “revealed” who the 3rd party was.

Zulkifli became Azilah’s lawyer when the latter’s cousin, who was a chambering student, approached him to represent Azilah. The first time Zulkifli saw Azilah, he thought the man looked familiar. Later, he was told that Azilah was the officer who accompanied Anwar in court when the latter was released.

Zulkifli spoke about Azilah’s character. He described Azilah as “a man who found it difficult to trust others”. He looked “depressed and fearful”. Zulkifli had to meet him several times to ensure him that he (Zulkifli) was really a lawyer.

“He felt that he had been betrayed. This is a big case. A murder case. When a person is accused of being a murderer and feels that he has been betrayed, it would be difficult for the individual to trust anyone else because in his mind he feels that everyone wants to betray him,” said Zulkifli, who was educated in Wellington, New Zealand.

He admitted that Azilah had revealed a lot of things to him, though he was cautious in the beginning, but eventually, he opened up. On his background, he said Azilah joined the UTK (special action forces) in 1997, and worked in the security section for the DPM. He became the office-in-charge of bodyguards (OCBG) for the DPM. A day before (Oct 18) Altantuya was killed, Azilah was on duty (guarding the DPM) in Pekan, and the day she was killed, he was on duty in Kuala Lumpur.

Zulkifli said several UTK members supported him and offered to ‘protect’ him as they wanted him to expose the case, to salvage the good name of the UTK.

“Yes, because they know that the UTK will only act under orders. Azilah is a member of the UTK, he will not issue an order to his subordinate if he did not receive orders from the higher ups”.

“And for the public, if this case does not involve those who have political interest, UTK will not be used. The use of C4 also raised many questions among the public. Everyone knows that C4 are only used by the army and not the UTK. Only certain people can approve the usage of this bom”.

So, why did Zulkifli withdrew from defending Azilah?

He said he did so because he was against Azilah’s decision to alter his defense strategy at the eleventh hour. The latter’s strategy included ‘protecting’ the mysterious third party. However, he declined to reveal who the third party was.

“As his lawyer, I had to respect his wishes. Therefore, I made a decision to withdraw from the case as it was against my principle and conscience”.

The rest of the interview included his opinion on court procedures, where several changes were made to the prosecution team, the judge as well as location of the hearing. He attributed the discrepencies to the fact that the Attorney General had powers beyond the judge, as it is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s department.

“We should emulate other countries where the AG’s department directly reports to Parliament”.

52 responses »

  1. Nstman says:

    Dark forces are at work in this flawed trial. The prosecution appear to enjoy wrecking their case and the defence appear to be enjoying a free ride. Very interesting.

  2. […] REMEMBER Zulkifli Noordin (photo Malaysiakini)? He was the lawyer who discharged himself from defending 1st accused in the Altantuya trials Read full story… […]

  3. elizabethwong says:

    Good going girl! U beat me to this🙂

  4. Facial says:

    Mr Zulkifli Noordin, I salute you.

    As his lawyer, I had to respect his wishes. Therefore, I made a decision to withdraw from the case as it was against my principle and conscience”,

    For the other parties (?) hope they can sleep in peace ??.

  5. insider says:

    “The latter’s strategy included ‘protecting’ the mysterious third party. However, he declined to reveal who the third party was.”

    I think there is no longer any doubt that there is a ‘third party’ involved in the murder.

    Someone should persuade him to divulge who the third party was.

  6. omigosh says:

    Another big question Susan, is what benefit or consideration will he get from protecting this third party. Surely he will get something in return like perhaps his freedom through a manipulated trial.

  7. kittykat46 says:

    Naj, Naj, Naj….

    This sounds like old time Mafia operatives who went to jail to protect the Boss of Bosses. Of course their family gets well taken care of, and there’s plenty of compensation in the end…contracts here, contracts there…The FBI knew full well the Boss of Bosses ordered the murder of various “inconvenient” people but years of investigations still failed to provide sufficient evidence to try the Big Boss for conspiracy to murder. No trail of evidence…
    I’m talking about the Mafia in the US, of course…

  8. hutchrun says:

    Say, whatever happened to that private who went on a shooting spree against the `pendatang` in Chow Kit after Najib sparked what later turned out to be `operation lallang`?
    Is he in one of those million dollar felda homes.

  9. wits0 says:

    Najib waved his keris then, but today he’s saying Anwar is worse(anyone got pic showing Anwar also similarly waving that precious piece of ferrous metal?)

    Private Adam? Sure took a long time b4 the truth about his amuck incident became clear….or is it?

  10. KTemoc says:

    susan, would this be the same Zulkifli Nordin who was a member of Anwar Ibrahims’ 1998 defence team and who was also held under the ISA?

    see http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGASA280271998?open&of=ENG-381

  11. elizabethwong says:

    gawd! gasps! yes he was!
    anwar ibrahim must have directed this, like how he directed all the other legal beagles to take up other cases i.e. karpal singh, raja aziz, gurbachan singh etc. etc.

  12. Libra says:

    Yes, this Zulkifli was a member of Anwar’s defence team and he is also a PAS member.
    Why should any fool risk his life to protect his boss unless he has been given a million ringgit and a promise of freedom.
    The change of court, judge, and the defence and prosecution team and now the inadmissibility of the confession all points to a innocent verdict.
    Lives of three Malays against a Mongolian’s . Who will win?

  13. Nstman says:

    Susan, continue to print the truth. We have had enough of the charade in the court. We have had enough of the idiotic press which prefers to print lies.

  14. cactus says:

    Interesting! 3rd party involved.
    Libra’s million dollar question: “Why should any fool risk his life to protect his boss unless he has been given a million ringgit and a promise of freedom.”

    I think the word is sediwara or was is seniwara. Just say WAYANG…

    Yes! There is a ‘wayang’ being performed in the High Court in Shah Alam and do you think the ending will be such…

    Razak Baginda – not guilty.
    Azilah & Shirul – guilty and to be hang till death… but in this bolehland, anything could happen…

    … a replacement was done and instead 2 vagabond was hung. Azilah & Shirul went through a massive plastic surgery, name change, paid million of dollars and was transferred to a far away land to live their live ever after.

    This could happen in this Bolehland, since so many ‘3rd parties’ are involved.

    Anyway, too much James Bond’s movies….cheers!

  15. ghenjis khan says:

    Zulkifli is Wellington trained and is not a member of the Syarie Legal Fraternity.

    I dare say, the behaviour of a Syarie lawyer is quite different from that of Advocate & Solicitor of the High Courts of Malaya.

    Zulkifli has to protect any information that has been confided to him in a Client-Attorney relationship.

    And that he has to keep silent for as long as he lives unless he put that in writing for exposure should he die … to be published after death.

    A Syarie lawyer I believe, has to uphold the truth how painful it is for his client …. not so much as defending a murderer or adulterer or thieves ….
    I should say, only to plead for mitigation and made known the reasons for the commission of the crime or misdemeanors.

    So, if his client says he commits the crime so be it, say so it court with all the reasons, plead for forgiveness from the Family of the Victim, as they have more rights now to acertain the penalty for the taking of a life.

    Even the Family may forgive, butI suppose, the State, has some rights as to punish the Accused.

    I stand to be corrected!

  16. greatsinghstuff says:

    This trial is now reaching farcical levels, like a number of others previously, where the route is “blurred” via several confusing possibilities, with spicy ingredients cooked-up by distant 3 rd party big-wig chefs, so that in the end everyone will get of the hook! Remember the Norita Samsuddin case, where the 3rd person was seen but could not be identified? Its all going to head in this direction, no doubt about it!

  17. ghenjis khan says:

    greatsinghstuff, you must watch Hell’s Kitchen was on last nite on NTV7 … very hot and spicy indeed!

  18. Dear Malaysians,

    It appears as each day dawns that our nation is sliding backwards. And with each passing month, the country is regressing even faster.

    This country was won back from the colonizers by the wisdom of its leaders and the clarity of heart of the citizens. Today, for those of use few who are willing to sit quite and reflect in all honsety to self and humilty before their creator shiver at the reality all around us….and there seems like we are all on a one way ticket of no-return to the glorious past.

    We need a miracle. We need a leader. We need to stop all this rot. But how? And therein lies the harsh reality that is so difficult to admit…

  19. Raja says:

    “He said he did so because he was against Azilahs decision to alter his defense strategy at the eleventh hour. The latters strategy included protecting the mysterious third party. However, he declined to reveal who the third party was.

    As his lawyer, I had to respect his wishes. Therefore, I made a decision to withdraw from the case as it was against my principle and conscience.

    It does not have to be this way.

    Zulkifly forgets that he is also an officer of the court, dedicated to finding the truth and upholding justice for all.

    So rather than change his strategy, a strategy he believes would be in the best interest of his client, he should continue with it. His client is not even a lawyer and depends on him completely. He should therefore have considered that whoever is behind the ‘change in the defense strategy’ is preventing himself from discharging his duties as lawyer to his client.

    So when the client tells his own lawyer how to do his work, the narrow application of ‘ethics’ means that he must withdraw himself from the case. ‘Ethics’ involves not only the best interest of his client but also the general good of the community and as an officer of the court he should have continued to discharge his duties and to do his utmost to protect his client rather than comply to the needs of an interfering third party.

    Of course, this will not stop his client standing up in court to discharge him as his lawyer any time during the course of the proceeding.

    By withdrawing himself from the case, he thought he had no choice. No. He did and that is to go on until he was dismissed by his client as the proceedings continued.

    You may ask what is the difference – discharge himself now or be forced by his own client to discharge himself in court later?

    The difference is justice is one step nearer to being served. He is an officer of the court in addition to being lawyer to his client for a fee.

  20. susan loone says:

    i thought quite the same as you raja.

  21. Raja says:

    “He felt that he (Azilah) had been betrayed.” Zulkifli

    Azilah is on trial accused of murdering the Mongolian girl who by her own admission was harassing his former lover for money among other things. She was only acting out the role of a woman scorned. You must have heard that “Hell has no fury than a woman scorned”.

    So guys out there who are about to dump their long time girlfriends would do well to take heed.

    Back to the question of intent and malice aforethought – which are the only relevant issues in the case to prove murder.

    He shot her in the head twice. His accomplice tried to dispose of the dead body through the use of explosives. Someone else also tried to blot out any trace of her being in Malaysia.

    The only relevant issues:

    Did Azilah do the crime? Did he shoot her dead?

    Evidence may suggest that he did the crime under instruction by some powerful individual in the government in return of a promise for a promotion and a cover-up. He said to his lawyer that he was betrayed.

    What does that have to do with intent and malice aforethought?

  22. Raja says:

    Motive is irrelevant!

  23. Raja says:

    Yes, Susan.

    Now this former lawyer of the accused is about to breach his duty as lawyer to his former client who is still on trial for murder.

    Even though now he is no longer lawyer to his client, information given to him when he was his lawyer is privileged!

  24. Raja says:

    This guy is treading the fine line and could be disciplined even disbarred!

  25. KTemoc says:

    gawd! gasps! yes he could be!😉

  26. Raja says:

    “As his lawyer, I had to respect his wishes. Therefore, I made a decision to withdraw from the case as it was against my principle and conscience.

    He should have said “I am forced to discharge myself as lawyer to my client because ethics (and my training as a member of this honorable profession) require that I do so.”

    When a client confessed to his lawyer that he did the crime he is charged with, the lawyer will have to discharge himself. This is not really about ethics but about your ability to discharge your duties to your client. He tells you he did the crime. It is very important that you believe in your client’s innocence. It is true as lawyer you do not decide on the guilt or innocence of your client – the court does. However, when your client confesses to you that he did the crime, it affects your judgment and the conduct of his defense. You must discharge yourself. It is really not about a question of ethics without more.

  27. KTemoc says:

    gawd! gasps! yes, again!😉

    yes, just negligent me

    forgot to check on the other legal beagles who had/have taken up other cases i.e. karpal singh, raja aziz, gurbachan singh etc. etc

  28. Raja says:

    Good gawd! It is you again??!

  29. wits0 says:

    Raja on July 11th, 2007
    at 7:43 pm. – re: second para

    That’s very reasonable and clearly acceptable position….amidst all the other heavy legal mumbo jumbo.

    The trail is flawed…. a state that’s detectable even by laymen.

  30. katataknak says:

    I wonder, which stinking idiot it was who started this rot in the judiciary?

  31. Raja says:

    “The trail is flawed. a state thats detectable even by laymen.”

    You mean to say “The trial is flawed”? How so?

  32. Raja says:

    “I wonder, which stinking idiot it was who started this rot in the judiciary?”

    Needless to say the rare honor goes to none other than the good doctor!

  33. Raja says:

    Anybody knows what happened to Justice Paul the judge in the Anwar trial?

  34. Raja says:

    Will somebody do the honors of cutting and pasting the resume of the present Judge, please.

  35. next step, the defence will employ chewbacca defence to get all 3 acquitted: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense

  36. shawal says:

    This case was so hot and make so many people eyes OPEN…..

    http://mclip.wordpress.com

  37. Raja says:

    “Someone should persuade him to divulge who the third party was.”

    Information given by the client to his attorney is subject to attorney-client privilege.

    The question is if this particular information is subject to attorney-client privilege i.e. the mere fact that there is a 3rd party.

    I think not so long as the lawyer did not quote his client.

  38. Raja says:

    If an information is subject to attorney-client privilege, even the court cannot force him to reveal. He certainly cannot reveal.

  39. […] WHO IS THE 3RD PARTY BEHIND THE ALTANTUYA TRIALS? [image]REMEMBER Zulkifli Noordin (photo Malaysiakini)? He was the lawyer who discharged himself from defending 1st […] […]

  40. KTemoc says:

    Raja,

    I have benefited tremendously from your very excellent yet simple to understand explanation of legal issues. My experience on such issues thus far had been limited to John Grisham’s novels, which has been why I was shy about raising the question of lawyer-client privileged information.

    May I then ask two questions of you on this sad case:

    (1) assuming we have a world famous best judiciary and an outstanding prosecution, and assuming there’s no lawyer-client privileged information involved, can the prosecuting side subpoena (correct word?) Mr Zulkifli Nordin as a its witness, to reveal who was/is the 3rd party he had alluded to?

    Even then, assuming Mr Zulkifli revealed the identity of the 3rd party as he claimed was revealed to him by his erstwhile client, is that admissable evidence?

    Then, if the court (prosecution or defence)examine the accused (Mr Zulkifli’s former client) on Mr Zulkifli’s revelation, what would be the ramifications of the acussed saying (i) I did not say that, (ii) nothing (pleading a Malaysian version of the 5th), (iii) I can’t remember.

    (2) referring to an earlier but related issue, how would the court (i.a.w world’s best practice, of course) assess or categorise the “evidence” or statement by Burmaa Oyunchimeg about the photo which she saw but could not produce.

    Would her claim that the late Altantuyaa told her a person in the photo was a Malaysian officer named Najib Razak be considered as ‘hearsay’ and inadmissible?

    I have heard of some exceptions to hearsay evidence where (from vague recollection) a dying man were to reveal to a priest or monk that his murderer was, say, KTemoc (gulp), that could well be admitted – would I be correct here, and if so, would this example, admittedly drawing a long bow here, be akin to the Altantuyaa’s case?

  41. Raja says:

    KTemoc, glad you ask. I am not unfamiliar with your writings on Malaysia-Today.

    Your Q.

    “(1) assuming we have a world famous best judiciary and an outstanding prosecution, and assuming theres no lawyer-client privileged information involved, can the prosecuting side subpoena (correct word?) Mr Zulkifli Nordin as a its witness, to reveal who was/is the 3rd party he had alluded to?

    I am not sure about what you mean by “world famous best judiciary and an outstanding prosecution”.

    The court cannot ever make a lawyer reveal what was said to him by their clients during their relationship as lawyer and client.

    There is a reason why that is so. It is only fair that that kind of information be protected from disclosure since our system, flawed though it may but it is the best we have, is an adversarial system.

    Attorneys insist that their clients be forthright in their responses to their questions during preparation for the trial so they could discharge their duties as attorney. It is important that attorney knows what his client knows, and sometimes for example past bad acts are revealed in the process etc. It is in the interest of justice that clients feel secure in their knowledge that whatever he may say to his attorney it can never be revealed – and if revealed is not admissible.

    Q. 2

    “(2) referring to an earlier but related issue, how would the court (i.a.w worlds best practice, of course) assess or categorise the evidence or statement by Burmaa Oyunchimeg about the photo which she saw but could not produce.”

    a. For something to be admissible it must first be relevant to the issue.

    b. Then if relevant it must not be inadmissible for being hearsay evidence. For example, a confession statement by a witness or a suspect under interrogation by the police is inadmissible if the purpose is to use it in court to prove the truth of contents.

    That prosecution witness was not answering questions posed to her by the prosecution when she said she was shown by Altantuya a photograph of a group of people sitting around a table for a meal and among them was a government official (meaning the DPM), Razak and the deceased. If the purpose was to prove the fact of a possible conspiracy involving a high government official and the accused, and to attack the credibility of that government official, that government official is not on trial, nor is he a witness – and so is the Government of Malaysia not on trial.

    Some foundation must first be built by counsel to allow its admission into evidence – and in this case the prosecution had nothing like that in mind. The witnessed was not being examined on the possibility of such a photograph or any photograph. While that may be so, prosecution should have allowed the witness to continue. If the defense objects the judge would most certainly sustain that objection on the ground of relevancy.

    But that was not what happened. Both counsel from the prosecution and the defense stood up to object! The attorney holding a watching brief has had to ‘stand up’ to ask the judge to allow the witness to have her say or complete her testimony.

    I find the behavior of counsel for the prosecution strange though not unexpected. Allowing their witness to continue with her testimony would not have damaged their case – though irrelevant.

    I am not sure why the defense is objecting!

    Before evidence is admissible in court, it has first to be relevant. The photograph is not relevant.

    Forget the trial for a minute. If relevant what does it prove? It proves that the DPM had lied to the people when he said he did not know the accused – but he is not even a witness in this trial?

    Could that be made a basis to charge him with conspiracy to murder? In my opinion – insufficient to prove anything more than the fact that they were having a meal. Period.

    Q. 3

    “I have heard of some exceptions to hearsay evidence where (from vague recollection) a dying man were to reveal to a priest or monk that his murderer was, say, KTemoc (gulp), that could well be admitted – would I be correct here, and if so, would this example, admittedly drawing a long bow here, be akin to the Altantuyaas case?”

    A dying declaration is an exception to the common law rule against hearsay. You are right.

    Altantuya never made a statement that could be said to be her ‘dying declaration’. The letters left by her referring to Razak is admissible only to prove her state of mind if that is in issue – and not the truth of contents e.g. Razak was trying to have her killed unless she stopped harassing him.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Cheers.

  42. Raja says:

    “Forget the trial for a minute. If relevant what does it prove? It proves that the DPM had lied to the people when he said he did not know the accused – but he is not even a witness in this trial?”

    Telling lies out of court and not under oath is not a crime. In court and under oath it is called perjury which is a crime.

  43. KTemoc says:

    Thanks Raja, hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be quoting you (as Raja at SLoone’s blog), or rather your comments in my posting, soon – it will be out of court😉

    Cheers buddy.

  44. KTemoc says:

    what did I mean by world famous best judiciary and an outstanding prosecution.

    If I had bitten my tongue, then it woudl have been saying it’s i,a.w world’s best practice, but I had my tongue pushing at my cheek😉

  45. Raja says:

    “For example, a confession statement by a witness or a suspect under interrogation by the police is inadmissible if the purpose is to use it in court to prove the truth of contents.”

    Now this is interesting in the context of what had happened during the examination-in-chief of the woman police officer by the prosecution.

    The Prosecution expected her to try and distance herself from what she had earlier said to the police in her S. 112 statement under the Criminal Procedure Act. There were inconsistencies between her testimony and her witness statement to the police.

    The prosecution did right by applying to have her impeached – even though she is prosecution’s own witness. This is allowed and is not as absurd as some people think.

    The purpose of the impeachment is to get the court to listen to what she said in her earlier statement while under interrogation to the police so as to be able to compare it to her testimony in court. Even though the purpose is to use it to prove the inconsistencies and not use it as proof of the truth of its contents (which is hearsay and inadmissible) the court gets to hear it.

    If the prosecution had not applied to impeach her it could result in a mistrial – and they do not want that!

  46. Raja says:

    Sorry, Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and not Act.

  47. Malaysia Boleh says:

    1) “Yes, because they know that the UTK will only act under orders. Azilah is a member of the UTK, he will not issue an order to his subordinate if he did not receive orders from the higher ups”.

    >> Azilah killed ordered the kill because his boss ordered him to.

    2) On his background, he said Azilah joined the UTK (special action forces) in 1997, and worked in the security section for the DPM. He became the office-in-charge of bodyguards (OCBG) for the DPM. A day before (Oct 18) Altantuya was killed, Azilah was on duty (guarding the DPM) in Pekan, and the day she was killed, he was on duty in Kuala Lumpur.

    >> Azilah’s boss is Najib Tun Razak

    3) Azilah’s decision to alter his defense strategy at the eleventh hour. The latter’s strategy included ‘protecting’ the mysterious third party.

    >> Azilah wishes to tell lies to to protect Najib

    4) “As his lawyer, I had to respect his wishes. Therefore, I made a decision to withdraw from the case as it was against my principle and conscience”.

    >> Zukilfli as a lawyer is bound by principle of full and frank disclosure. He does not want to be in contempt of court by lying with Azilah. He withdrew himself.

    Unless i have interpreted wrongly, Malaysians, wake up!!!!!!

  48. Malaysia Boleh says:

    Hello Raja,

    I read your legal analysis and i could not agree with you more.

    “The prosecution did right by applying to have her impeached – even though she is prosecution’s own witness. This is allowed and is not as absurd as some people think.”

    We are talking about highly trained and regarded police officers here. Surely, they would not be inconsistent and incoherent as projected, right?

    It is the Prosecution’s job to ensure that all their Witnesses’s affidavits and finally Evidence-in-chief is in proper before going for trial. Otherwise they should have amended them.

    While this move is tactical, it is really lame. And they have effectively and legally removed a strong witness from the trial without having her being cross-examined in her role regarding the kidnapping/ killing (if she does know or involve at all).

    Prosecution is in fact an invisible hand in covering up the crime!!!

  49. wits0 says:

    The Prosecution is FatTail’s chosen apparatus…can we guess who the later serves?

  50. Raja says:

    MalaysiaSemuaBoleh,

    This woman police officer was called in for her S. 112 statement by the police as required under the CPC which requires her to tell all she knows. She did and with a little persuasion and promise perhaps rather than pressure or threat, she told what she knew about Azilah’s movements that day – which could have implicated her in some ways. Perhaps she helped him and could be an accomplice after the fact.

    They more or less offered her a deal i.e. they would not charge her with obstruction of justice if she agreed to testify on behalf of the prosecution. But all along they knew that when she took the stand as witness for the prosecution she would modify her testimony to avoid the possibility of self-incrimination. She does not trust the prosecution. In Malaysia plea deal is illegal.

    Prosecution then applies to impeach her. How do they do that? By comparing her witness statement (out-of-court statement given to the police) to her testimony in court and prove the inconsistencies. She would then lose all credibility as a witness. Little or no weight would be given to her testimony.

    The defense is unlikely to call her. What could she possibly say in court that would advance their case. Furthermore, calling her as their witness would open the door to a scathing X-examination by the prosecution.

  51. anoymous says:

    If I am a VIP and I want to go & play, I will not use my real name, I will use the name of my lackey. Some lackey also pimps for his boss especially his boss is a lusty fella. So when anything goes wrong the lackey become the fall guy and scapegoat. Easier to be a pimp than to do real work.

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