SHAH ALAM, 14 Sept 2009: The High Court here today struck out the application by Altantuya Shaaribuu‘s father relating to the attorney-general (AG)’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 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. 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 AG, 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 31 Oct 2008 without his defence being called.
Altantuya’s father filed the judicial review application on 24 Dec last year.
Two others — Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 33, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37 — were found guilty on 9 April this year of murdering Altantuya, and were sentenced to death.
When met outside the court, Karpal told reporters that although his client had decided to drop the application, he would proceed with the claim against Abdul Razak, Azilah, Sirul Azhar and the 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 will direct the AG 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 4 June 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 25 Nov. — Bernama