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Abdul Razak can be rearrested if prosecution appeals

PUTRAJAYA, 3 Nov 2008: Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda faces the possibility of being re-arrested and remanded pending the outcome should the prosecution appeal to the Court of Appeal against his acquittal.

Lawyer Karpal Singh said the prosecution could make such application under Section 56A of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 to prevent Abdul Razak from absconding.  

The 48-year-old was freed by the court after Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin acquitted and discharged him without calling for his defence on 31 Oct.

Abdul Razak, the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre executive director, was charged with abetting two police commandos, Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, to murder Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu in the Federal Territory between 9.54am on 18 Oct 2006, and 9.45pm the following day.

Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for Altantuya’s family, said the provision allowed the prosecution to apply to the Court of Appeal to issue a warrant of arrest against Abdul Razak and remand him pending the disposal of the appeal.

Alternatively, the section allowed the prosecution to apply to the court to free Abdul Razak on bail pending the disposal of the appeal, he said.

Azilah, dan Sirul Azhar, both from Special Action Squad (UTK) were ordered to enter their defence on the charge of murdering the 28-year-old mother of two in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on 19 Oct 2006, and 1am the following day.

They face the death sentence if convicted.

In ruling that the prosecution had failed to make out a prima facie case against Abdul Razak, the court accepted Abdul Razak’s affidavit containing exculpatory statements which it said negated and nullified the act of abetment as alleged against him.

 Meanwhile, Altantuya’s father, Dr Shaariibuu Setev, has submitted a letter to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail urging him to appeal against Abdul Razak’s acquittal.

Karpal said he handed over the letter, on behalf of Dr Shaariibuu, to Abdul Gani this afternoon.

He said he also faxed the letter to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on 31 Oct. Under the law, the prosecution has 14 days to file the appeal to the Court of Appeal. The deadline is on 17 Nov.

In the letter, Karpal said that Shaariibuu and the second secretary of Mongolian embassy in Thailand, Siizkhuu Sainbileg, met him on the afternoon of the decision day, fervently requesting him to write a letter to Abdul Gani to file the appeal.

“We are of the view that a prima facie case had been made out against Abdul Razak Baginda and his defence ought to have been called. In view of the trial attracting national and international attention, we would be grateful if the notice of appeal could be filed as soon as possible,” he said in the letter. — Bernama


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