Convicted murderer Azilah Hadri claimed that he was ordered to kill Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006 by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the latter’s close associate Abdul Razak Baginda.
Azilah filed a statutory declaration on Oct 17, and news site Malaysiakini reported it yesterday. The former police commando said he and his former colleague Sirul Azhar Umar killed the Mongolian model, following an explicit “shoot to kill” order by Najib.
Azilah and Sirul were members of the police force’s special action unit. They guarded VVIPs, like Najib, who was then deputy prime minister and defense minister.
In the statutory declaration, Azilah, 43, stated that Najib not only ordered the killing. The latter also requested that they use explosives from the special action unit’s armory to destroy Altantuya’s body in a covert operation only to be known to a small group.
This group included Najib’s then aide-de-camp Musa Safri, his then special officer Abdul Razak Baginda, and Sirul.
Azilah said Najib and Abdul Razak described Altantuya as “a smart talker and cunning who will lie that she is pregnant.”
He added that Najib rewarded him with RM300 in cash after the execution and repeatedly assured that all would be fine as Azilah was carrying out a national duty.
In an immediate response, the Royal Malaysia Police said it had yet to see the statutory declaration.
“Therefore, we have to check its authenticity. We will decide on further action after the statutory declaration has been checked,” said Federal Criminal Investigation Department director Comm Huzir Mohamed.
In 2009, Azilah and Sirul were convicted and sentenced to death by the Shah Alam High Court for killing the Mongolian woman.
Former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who was jointly charged with them, was acquitted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2008. The prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
The prosecution did not appeal his acquittal.
However, on Aug 23, 2013, the Court of Appeal overturned the Shah Alam High Court’s decision to convict the duo, sparing them from the gallows.
In 2015, the Federal Court convicted Azilah and Sirul for murdering Altantuya.
Sirul, 47, is being held in a detention center in Australia. He fled there in 2014 while on bail and has applied for asylum.
On June 20, 2018, the murder case was reopened following a police report by Altantuya’s father, Dr Steve Shaariibuu, who sought a fresh probe.
The Federal Court will hear Azilah’s application on April 20.
Azilah Hadri (right), who was sentenced to hang for killing model Altantuya Shaariibuu (left), claims the ex-PM gave him an explicit order to kill her. Picture credit: The Straits Times