Sirul Azhar Umar, in detention in Australia, may face extradition soon as the time is running out for him.
After the massive victory of the Pakatan Harapan opposition in Malaysia, new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is bound to add the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case on a long list of wrongdoings by the Najib Razak regime.
The hitman is locked up at Australia’s Villawood detention centre, waiting for his case which is due to be heard within months from now.
For Sirul, he can’t remain silent any longer. He’s to prove why he isn’t “ineligible for the grant of a protection visa”, an application which is likely to be rejected according to Aussie police sources.
Sirul is one of the two police officers convicted of the gruesome murder of the Mongolian model.
He is battling against extradition to Malaysia but he is under pressure from Australian authorities to prove he did not mastermind the killing.
If he succeeds in doing so, he will not be deemed a threat to the Australian community and will be granted a protection visa.
But to do so, he must be willing to implicate others in order to secure freedom in Australia for himself.
In 2009, Sirul was convicted in Malaysia and sentenced to death for the sensational murder of the Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, in a case widely suspected to have links to Najib.
But the links were never proven, and Najib managed to get Sirul to clear his name in the case from the Australian prison.
When Sirul was first incarcerated in Australia journalists were able to visit him. Just weeks after his arrest he reportedly told Malaysia’s online newspaper, Malaysiakini: “I was under orders, the important people with motive (to murder Altantuya) are still free.” He told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I am the scapegoat.”
In leaked SMS messages found in his mobile phone, Sirul said to a middle-man who was negotiating a ‘silencing fee’ for the convicted murderer:
“Greetings boss. I am in difficulties here. I want 2 million Australian dollars before boss (you) come to meet me… after that I want 15 million … I will not return to Malaysia ever boss. I won’t bring down the PM.”
But after multiple visits by Malaysian officials to the Sirul’s detention cell, the latter cleared Najib.
“I understand that it is the intention of certain quarters with vested interests to topple a certain someone … In God’s name … the most honourable prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was never involved and had no links to the case,” he stated.