24 December, 2008

Altantuya's Father Seeks Judical Review Of Prosecutor's Decision

Lawyer Karpal Singh, acting on behalf of Altantuya Shaariibuu's family, has filed an application at the Shah Alam High Court to compel the prosecution to appeal against the acquittal of political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda.

- Malaysiakini

Shaarribuu Setev, the father of Mongolian Altantuya Shaarriibuu who was murdered two years ago, is seeking a judicial review of the Public Prosecutor's decision not to appeal against the acquittal of political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda.

The application was filed at the High Court here through lawyer Karpal Singh at about 12pm today.

Named as respondents were the Attorney General who is also the Public Prosecutor, and Razak who was acquitted by Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin on Oct 31 of abetment in the woman's murder.

Karpal told reporters at the court lobby that the applicant also sought a mandamus order to compel the Attorney General to apply for an extension of time to appeal against Razak's aquittal and thereafter to apply to the Court of Appeal for a warrant directing Razak to be arrested and brought before the court for him to be remanded pending the disposal of the appeal or released on bail.

He said that following judge Zaki's decision to acquit Razak without calling him to enter defence, the Attorney General had 14 days to file an appeal and the time had expired on Nov 14.

He said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Majid Tun Hamzah had also stated that the prosecution was not appealing.

"The first respondent (Attorney General) was constitutionally bound, having regard to the facts and circumstances and the evidence led by the prosecution, to have exercised his discretion lawfully and it falls upon the Honourable Court to invoke its jurisdiction and power to grant leave to the applicant to apply for an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the first respondent in declining to act under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to appeal against the decision of Justice Mohd Zaki Mohd Yassin in acquitting the second respondent (Razak) without calling for his defence," Karpal said.

"It is a very significant application because we are questioning the discretion of the Attorney General; we are saying that the discretion of the Attorney General under the Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to institute a prosiding in the nature of even filing an appeal is not absolute.

"In other words, he must act fairly and not arbitrarily," he said.

He said that after the amendment of the Constitution in 1993, even the King and the Rulers were subjected to the law. "I can't see the Attorney General being exempted from the law by way of acting as he pleases without anyone to question the manner in which he exercises his discretion," he added.

He said he would asked for an early date for the application to be heard.


"I just want to go home" - was all political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda could say after the Shah Alam High Court acquitted him of a charge of abetment in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The court took 151 days from June 4, 2007 to hear testimonies from 84 prosecution witnesses before coming up with its verdict on Oct 31 this year.

Abdul Razak also breathed a sigh of relief after deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, who led the prosecution, confirmed that no appeal would be made against the court's decision in acquitting him.

The high profile case generated a big following and received international attention following rumours of a public figure also linked to the murder.

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