(Updated 6:09pm; 4 Feb 2009)
SHAH ALAM, 4 Feb 2009: The second accused in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial told the High Court here that he was like “a black sheep that has to be sacrificed” to protect the plans and intentions of those who are not in court to face charges.
“I have no reason to cause hurt, what more to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner,” said Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar while giving evidence in his defence.
Sirul Azhar, 37, of the Bukit Aman Special Action Unit (UTK), tugged at the heartstrings of those in the High Court here by appealing that he not be sentenced to death.
“I appeal to the court, which has the powers to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others’ plans for me,” he said while wiping away tears.
His younger sister and an older cousin who were in the public gallery were also seen wiping away tears.
Sirul Azhar started by reading his defence statement notes of 15 pages beginning at 9.40am by explaining his meeting with the first accused Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 33, on 18 Oct 2006 at the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur to go to Hotel Malaya.
“I asked Azilah the reason to go to Hotel Malaya and the reason for going to Damansara (to the house of Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, the third accused who was acquitted and discharged)?
“Azilah told me that there was work to be done and asked me to just follow him. Along the way to Damansara, Azilah told me that DSP Musa Safri had told him about a friend of DSP Musa who had women problems.
“Azilah directed me to drive to DSP Musa’s friend’s house in Bukit Damansara. According to Azilah, DSP Musa’s friend held a high post, was a businessman and was of means.
“However, Azilah did not reveal the identity of DSP Musa’s friend,” Sirul Azhar said.
Sirul Azhar said along the way, Azilah also told him that a woman and a man believed to be the woman’s elder brother, both believed to be Chinese, had caused a disturbance outside DSP Musa’s friend’s house.
He said according to Azilah the woman was a former lover of DSP Musa’s friend.
Sirul Azhar said agreement to make rounds of the vicinity of Abdul Razak’s house was a favour as he knew Musa was his superior officer and it was also a directive from Azilah who was also his superior officer.
He also admitted to having gone to Hotel Malaya (where Altantuya stayed) together with Azilah that day to meet the Mongiolian woman but they were unsuccessful as Azilah did not know her room number.
Sirul Azhar said on 19 Oct 2006, Azilah called him at 8.45pm and told him to come to Abdul Razak’s house to provide assistance in case the “Chinese” man and woman who caused disturbance became violent.
In his testimony, he said he saw Azilah talking to the “Chinese” woman and an Indian man, and the woman then got into Azilah’s car.
He then added that he got into the same car, after which Azilah dropped him off at his car. Sirul Azhar said Azilah then told him the woman had agreed not to create disturbances at Abdul Razak’s house.
Sirul Azhar then drove home after checking with Azilah.
Sirul Azhar said he arrived at the house at 10pm and left at midnight and headed towards the Jalan Damansara toll plaza, on to the Jalan Duta toll plaza and on to Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur for ‘bersahur’ (post-midnight meal).
Azilah and Sirul have been charged with murdering the 28-year-old Mongolian woman in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10pm on 19 Oct 2006 and 1am the following day.
Justice Datuk Zaki Md Yasin on 31 Oct last year ordered them to enter their defence.
“Before I end my statement, I wish to say that I did not know the victim in this case and did not have any personal or other dealings with her.
“I do not know Abdul Razak and had no dealings with him before the case. I appeal to the court to consider that throughout the trial I had followed the proceedings and saw how several important prosecution witnesses, especially from the serious crime department, that made up stories, did not tell the truth and changed their stories under cross-examination.
“I have observed this carefully as to me their actions are to get me convicted,” he said.
When Sirul Azhar finished, his lawyer, Hasnal Redzua Merican, said he would not call any other witness and would close their case.
Judge Mohd Zaki fixed 16 and 17 Feb for submissions before he makes a decision. — Bernama