Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the allegation that he gave a “shoot to kill” order in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu in 2006 is part of a high-level political assassination attempt.
He blames the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for the statutory declaration which contained the allegation by former police commando-turned-murderer Azilah Hadri.
Najib’s lawyer, Mr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, has linked the statutory declaration to purported attempts by VVIPs to get the other condemned individual, Sirul Azhar, to make the same allegations against Najib.
Mr Shafee says he had received information that a “VVIP” had paid a visit to Azilah, who is currently on Death Row at Kajang Prison. Dr Mahathir has, however, rejected claims he met Azilah.
The Prisons Department has denied Mr Shafee’s allegation that Azilah might have been brought out of Kajang Prison to meet a “VVIP” in February.
In a statement today, it says Azilah had not left the prison since April 15, 2015, when he attended court proceedings.
Dr Mahathir shook his head and smiled when asked by reporters if he had met Azilah outside the prison gates. He then left.
Mr Shafee insists that the review application filed by Azilah to set aside his conviction and death sentence was a “mischievous application”. He also alleges that hidden hands were behind the application.
Meanwhile, Mr Shafee says Azilah’s accomplice Sirul Azhar Umar was also visited by Malaysian agents in Australia.
Sirul is in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre after fleeing Malaysia in 2015. He was, like Azilah, a police commando.
In February that year, Sirul made sensational claims that he was ordered to carry out the murder of Altantuya, who had befriended Najib’s friend Abdul Razak Baginda.
He told Malaysiakini at that time that he shot the model twice before wrapping her body with military explosives and blowing her up.
“I was under orders,” he said, adding that “the important people with motive are still free.”
Malaysians have been debating for years about who were behind the murder of the model.
Altantuya had helped Abdul Razak Baginda broker a deal in the purchase of submarines from France but their relationship did not end amicably.
She was kidnapped and killed and it has always been alleged that Sirul was asked to carry out the hit.
In his statutory declaration this week, Azilah also claimed that he had met Najib and that the latter had asked him to carry out an order to eliminate an enemy of the state.