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Sirul fails to get access to statement

SHAH ALAM, 22 Jan 2009: The High Court today denied Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar’s request for access to DSP Musa Safri’s witness statement.

Justice Datuk Zaki Md Yasin said that when statements under Section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) were excluded from the documents to be delivered before the trial’s commencement, the same principle applied to all stages of the trial, including during the defence.

“The accused person whose defence is being called is entitled to interview and record a statement. DSP Musa is one of the witnesses. But the second accused today decided that he would want to see DSP Musa’s Section 112 statement before deciding to exercise such entitlement,” he said.

He added that at the trial’s outset, a similar application was made for all Section 112 statements by prosecution witnesses to be furnished to the second accused in advance of the trial.

“That was rejected on the grounds that I am bound by the Federal Court ruling in Husdi’s case that the Section 112 statement is privileged.

“It follows therefore, if that application had been granted, the present application would not have arisen for by now the accused would have been in possession of all the witnesses’ statements including one of DSP Musa,” he said.

Sirul, 36, who is the second accused in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial had asked the court to order the prosecution to supply him a copy of Musa’s statement made during police investigations.

His lawyer, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, said previously that he needed the statement to help Sirul prepare his defence.

Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 32, and Sirul are both police Special Action Unit operatives. They 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.

On 31 Oct 2008, the court ordered them to enter their defence.

Azilah had given his evidence under oath while Sirul is expected to give statement from the dock.

The judge has set 4 Feb for continuance. — Bernama


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