In a shocking revelation from Death Row, convicted killer Azilah Hadri says Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak ordered him to kill the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.
He adds in a statutory declaration that the order came from both Najib and his close associate, Abdul Razak Baginda.
This is the first time that one of the accused is linking Najib and Abdul Razak to a killing that is still haunting Malaysia.
His partner in the gruesome killing, Sirul Azhar, is in jail in Australia. Condemned to death, Sirul escaped to Australia after a court reversed the death penalty.
Both were police commandos and were part of Najib’s security detail in 2006. Najib was then Deputy Prime Minister and has denied any involvement in the case.
Azilah says Najib’s order was “shoot to kill” or arrest and destroy the model as Altantuya was a “dangerous foreign spy” and a threat to national security.
“I asked the DPM what he meant by arrest and destroy the foreign spy, he responded: ‘Shoot to kill’, and indicated it with a slit-the-throat gesture.
“When asked the purpose of destroying the foreign spy with explosives, the DPM replied: ‘Dispose of the foreign spy’s body with an explosive device to remove the traces and the explosives can be obtained from the UTK store (armoury),” he says in the statutory declaration.
Altantuya was shot dead after she was “kidnapped” by the officers, who then blew her into pieces with C4 attached to her body, say reports.
Azilah also claims Najib told him to be “cautious of the female foreign spy as she is a smart talker and is cunning”. He says Najib told him one of Altantuya’s tricks was to claim she was pregnant.
The statutory declaration was made from Death Row in Kajang Prison. The killer says he was merely following an explicit order from the DPM.
These details are contained in an application filed by Azilah seeking the Federal Court’s review of its decision in his and Sirul’s conviction to impose the death sentence.
According to reports in the Malaysian media, Azilah is also seeking a retrial in order to provide full evidence on the clandestine operation in open court.
He says he wants “justice to be served” and the court has fixed tomorrow for case management. He now claims there was suppression of evidence and material facts during the High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings.
While in opposition, the Pakatan Harapan parties accused the ruling Barisan Nasional government of protecting the person behind the killing.
In his statutory declaration, Azilah says Najib instructed him to carry out a covert operation. “The DPM reminded me to carry out this covert operation carefully and with a high level of security and secrecy as it involved a threat to national security.”
The statutory declaration was published by Malaysia Kini today.
In 2015, the Federal Court convicted Azilah and Sirul of murdering Altantuyaa.