Mat Zain: Bala’s SD might save cops on death row

Jun 27, 11

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Mat Zain Ibrahim has urged Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar to intervene in the decision of the Attorney-General’s (AG’s) Chambers not to charge private investigator P Balasubramaniam with falsifying a statutory declarations (SDs).

In an open letter to Ismail, Mat Zain said the contents of Balasubramaniam’s statutory declarations, if tested in court, may influence the outcome of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

Two young police personnel, Azilah Hadri, 33, and Sirul Azha Umar, 36, were both sentenced to death for Altantuya’s murder.

However, political and defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was acquitted of abetment without his defence being called. Prosecutors did not appeal the decision.

“If the judge had mistakenly freed Abdul Razak, that is inconsequential. Maybe that is his luck. But we cannot allow the judge to mistakenly sentence Azilah and Sirul to death.

“We hold to the principle that it is better to allow 10 criminals to escape publishment than punish one innocent man,” wrote Mat Zain.

He said that Azilah and Sirul deserve a fair trial and that they are in the process of appeal. Any new evidence, no matter how remote, should be adduced to the court at this stage, he said.

“The police cannot allow any evidence in the Altantuya murder trial to be buried or manipulated by any parties,” he said.

He said that in 1993, Bukit Aman federal police headquarters had established a 10-member panel to probe the Batang Kali Massacre, which happened 45 years ago, after new evidence was uncovered, and the Altantuya murder case should be no different.

Two declarations

Mat Zain’s letter was in response to de facto Law Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s ongoing spat with Subang MP R Sivarasa and Batu MP Tian Chua over Balasubramaniam’s two conflicting statutory declarations.

Back on July 3, 2008, with much fanfare and enthusiasm, Balasubramaniam revealed his first statutory declaration which included explosive claims linking then-Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to Altantuya.

Abdul Razak was known to be a close ally and confidante to Najib and reportedly advised the Defence Ministry when the latter was defence minister.

Less than 24 hours later, a sullen looking Balasubramaniam revealed a second statutory declaration, retracting all his allegations against Najib, during a suspicious and hastily organised press conference.

It was later learned that Balasubramaniam had fled the country, but continued to insist that he had been pressured into making the second statutory declaration and that his first was true.

Nazri had on two occasions told the Dewan Rakyat that the AG’s Chambers had closed the case on the two statutory declarations because the documents had “no effect” on the Altantuya murder trial.

Court should decide, not AG

The AG’s decision was based on a precedent set in an earlier case which made a false statutory declaration a violation of the law only if the document was used in court.

Commenting on this, Mat Zain in his open letter said that the admissibility of the statutory declarations was not for AG Abdul Gani Patail to decide, but the courts.

“Such an excuse was as if Abdul Gani had usurped the function and powers of the judge that was hearing the Altantuya murder trial,” wrote Mat Zain.

He said that the responsibility of the prosecutors or defence as officers of the court was to present all witness statements to the case as even minute evidence can have a major impact, as seen in the inquest into the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

Mat Zain argued that the veracity of the alleged ‘suicide note’ presented by the AG’s Chambers at the eleventh hour of the proceedings could not verified but influenced the inquest anyway.

In the case of Balasubramaniam’s statutory declarations, its effects on the Altantuya murder trial would only be known if the statements were tested in court, he said.

Mat Zain also disagreed with the AG’s Chambers assertion that there was a case precedent in which a false statutory declaration was in violation of the law only if it was used in court.

He said that this was disproved in the case of PP vs Sharma Kumari in 2000, which provided a convincing rebuttal in simple language.

“Anyone who reads the PP vs Sharma Kumari case report can conclude that the answer and explanation provided by Abdul Gani for Nazri in Parliament was untrue,” he said.

  1. #1 by dagen on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 - 8:37 am

    For heaven’s sake, look people. It is a cover up as big, clear and blatant as can be. Has anyone seen the faces of the two accused (well now convicted) cops? Umno had it all designed. They had the identity of the two accuseds concealed all the time, then. And now they are, supposed to be, in death row. Well, are they? That is the question. Do we know?

    In the end two unfortunate fellas (probably, of the wrongly-wired species) will be hanged. And the two convicts …? God knows!

  2. #2 by k1980 on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 - 11:11 am

    //Has anyone seen the faces of the two accused //

    Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azha Umar will reappear as Haliza Irdah and Luris Ahza Ramu respectively, each with millions in their bank account. Even their mothers cannot recognize them

  3. #3 by Indon Planter on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 - 11:16 am

    Two nameless foreign illegal immigrants will be hanged whilst heads covered. The two TNT experts will live under different names with a secured future and big fat bank account. When immigration records can be erased, what is falsifying prison death row? Subsub swey.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 - 11:17 am

    Very intriguing — whenever criminals appear in court in other countries, their faces are not wrapped up in their underpants, ect. Why is malaysia so secretive that the faces of convicted criminals sentenced to hang are not allowed to be seen or photographed? What section of the Penal Code allows this?

  5. #5 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 - 8:27 pm

    Maybe both Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azha Umar are already fugitives by now;one is currently spending his leisure sunbathing on U-lala beach with topless pussy cat at certain part of this world and the other might be on honeymoon with underage girl in full ‘fun and frolic’ in 5 star hotel somewhere in Afganistan or Zimbawe.

  6. #6 by good coolie on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 - 11:00 pm

    With a specialist in under-aged girls.

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