Friday, July 13, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Day 18-Altantuya Murder Trial; DSP KUMAR: Explosives Details; No Training in C4; Accused Not Skilled in Explosives; CCTV Footages

Day 18 Video Clip loaded..

In yesterday's trial, witness DSP Sri Kumar said C4 was not available in UTK (but maybe from Mindef). The explosives used and stored in the UTK store included
PE, Cutting Liner Charge (CLC), detonating or det cord, detonator and sound devices like flash bang.
Enhanced Images (see near bottom) of the crime scene taken on Nov 7 2006 show no crater (CLC not used); then was it just hand grenades that was used?

= == = == == = == == = == = = DAY 18 Trial , Court resumes Mondy 16th Jul 07

ABOVE: Abdul Razak's family members waiting & hoping to get a glimpse of him passing through and going back on Day 18 of Trial and BELOW: the moment they were waiting for

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ABOVE & BELOW: The hooded first two accused arriving in Court on Day 18; looks like Azilah above and Sirul below

As usual Malaysiakini has the early news on Thursday, 12th July 07

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Training officer questioned on unused explosives

DAY 18

SHAH ALAM (July 12, 2007): A training officer with the Police Special Action Unit (UTK) told the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial there was no possibility of unused explosives being taken away after a training session supervised by him.

However, DSP M.V. Sri Kumar (ABOVE) said he could not answer on behalf of other trainers. DPP Noorin Badaruddin had asked Sri Kumar if there was such a possibility and the answer was that normally, the training officer would have to return the unused explosives.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin: Is that the answer to the question?
Noorin: My question was, if there was a balance, was there a possibility of it being taken?
Sri Kumar: The amount returned will not tally with the amount taken.
Noorin: What is your answer, is there a possibility or not?
Sri Kumar: If under my supervision, not at all.
Noorin: If under other people's supervision, is there a possibility?
Lawyer Hazman Ahmad, representing accused Chief Insp Azilah Hadri objected, but Noorin said it was relevant.
Mohd Zaki then told Sri Kumar that if he did not know he could say he had no knowledge.
Sri Kumar: I cannot answer for others.
The UTK officer also told the court Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah had only undergone basic training, which included arms and explosives training. He said the duo had not gone for specialist training on explosives but he was not aware if they had undergone other training using explosives during the in-service training.

ABOVE: An artist impression of the court during DSP Sri Kumar's testimony

Sri Kumar, who joined the UTK in 1992, had attended basic bomb disposal training in the marine base in Bakri, Muar, in 1994, explosives incident counter measure training in the United States in 1997 and high-risk defensive bomb search at the marine base in Tampoi, Johor.

He said the UTK used plastic explosives, cutting linear charge (CLC), detonating cord, detonator and some sound devices named Flash Bang.
Asked by Noorin if C4 (composition four) explosives are used in the UTK, Sri Kumar said no.
As he went on to explain about the explosives and Noorin went into more details on how an explosion is carried out, Mohd Zaki quipped: "Is this important? Looks like we are undergoing a basic theory training on explosives."

Noorin asked if Sirul Azhar and Azilah had in the past been frozen from duty, Sri Kumar replied they have not.
Lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, representing Sirul Azhar, asked Sri Kumar if he knew the plastic explosives were available commercially, like in the quarry. He said quarries used dynamites.
Mohd Zaki asked who else in the police force used explosives, Sri Kumar said the bomb disposal unit and the general operations force (GOF) used it.
When Ahmad Zaidi asked if a crater would be created if CLC is used on the ground, Sri Kumar said it would.Re-examined by Noorin, who asked if a crater would be created if an object was placed under the CLC, he said it would depend on the type of object. He said if a metal sheet was placed underneath the CLC, no crater would be formed after it was exploded.

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Court to view CCTV recordings on Monday
SHAH ALAM (July 12, 2007): The High Court will on Monday (July 16) view close-circuit television (CCTV) recordings taken in Hotel Malaya to determine who had entered the premises before Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered.
DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah said they had arranged for the CCTV recordings to be viewed in court as the monitoring room at the hotel is too small to accommodate all of them. The recordings were taken by 20 CCTVs fitted in the hotel located on Jalan Hang Lekiu in
Kuala Lumpur, the place that Altantuya stayed with her friends until she went missing.

Hotel Malaya operations manager Loo Mow Chan (ABOVE) told the court Altantuya checked into the hotel on Oct 9 and was given room 817 but she later changed rooms several times.

Loo, who was in charge of the CCTV room which monitored the recordings, said the CCTVs were located in the lobby, near lift entrances, from the 3rd to the 9th floors, coffee house and conference room lobby of the 11-storey building.
The images captured are visible from his office using three monitors.

Loo said the images are recorded on a tape which is kept in his office for 30 days after which the tape is reused. Each of the 31 tapes contains a 24-hour recording and is labelled according to date and time. The tapes are changed at midnight daily. Questioned by DPP Manoj Kurup on who maintained the CCTV system, he said it was the supplier. He said the system was in working order on Oct 9, 8 and 19. He said the tape recorded date and time automatically, and that he did not key in the information. Responding to questions from Manoj, he said that on Nov 10, one Sgt Amran Ab Aziz came to his office asking for tapes containing CCTV recordings for Oct 8, 18 and 19. "I passed him the three tapes," said Loo.
Asked if Amran had taken anything else, he said: "The guest folio for Room 821."
In May, another two police officers, identified by Loo as Tuan Tony (ASP Tony Lunggan) and Tuan Amidon (Supt Amidon Anan), met him in his office, together with a cameraman. Asked what they wanted, Loo replied: "They wanted some pictures from the CCTV system, they wanted me to play the tapes so that they could take pictures from the screen." They brought along three tapes which they had taken earlier, he told the court. Loo was later asked to identify eight pictures which the two police officers had taken and the locations in the pictures, which he did. Asked which date the images were taken from, he said Oct 18, and the time was between
4.54pm and 5pm.
(According to the charge sheet, Altantuya was murdered between
10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20
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July 12, 2007 23:04 PM

Azilah, Sirul Azhar Were Never Relieved Of UTK Duties - Sri Kumar
SHAH ALAM, July 12 (Bernama) -- Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, the first and second accused in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, were never relieved of their duties as Special Action Force (UTK) operatives, a UTK training officer testified Thursday. DSP M.V. Sri Kumar told the murder trial that Azilah, 30, and Sirul Azhar, 35, would be relieved of their duties only if they had failed in the monthly physical, shooting skills and swimming tests or had continuously skipped training while in service. UTK operatives are considered experienced and knowledgeable the longer they served in the force and underwent a lot of training, said Sri Kumar, 41, who joined the UTK on
June 20 1992, on the 18th day of the high-profile trial.

Questioned by DPP Noorin Badaruddin whether a UTK operative with long service and had never been relieved of duties showed he was consistent in his performance, he said: "Yes, in all fields of training, including in handling firearms." Azilah, 30, and Sirul Azhar, 35, are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year while political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 46, is accused of abetting them. Earlier, Sri Kumar, told the High Court that policemen and police officers were required to attend an interview before they were picked for a two-week initial selection test. The successful candidates would then undergo a three-month basic training, he said.

It was during the basic training that they would be exposed to handling of bombs and other weapons. After completing the basic training, they would be absorbed into the force and would undergo in-service training under their respective unit heads. Saying that explosives were not used in all in-service training, he said there was a possibility that Azilah and Sirul Azhar underwent the training (handling explosives under their respective heads). He said unit leaders would decide whom to collect and return the explosives to the armoury after they are used for in-service trainings. The UTK has stringent conditions to take out explosives from the armoury, he added.

The trial resumes on Monday.
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July 12, 2007 19:18 PM
Azilah Was Never Instructed To Perform Detonations, Says Witness
SHAH ALAM, July 12 (Bernama) -- Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, the first accused in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, was never instructed to perform detonations in any operation since his service with the Special Action Force (UTK) four years ago, the High Court here was told Thursday. DSP M.V. Sri Kumar, 41, training officer of the UTK, said Azilah did not have the skill to breach explosives and only experts were allowed to do the job. Sri Kumar, the prosecutions' 16 witness, said the second accused, Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, who is also a UTK member, also did not have the skill to handle explosives. They only had basic training in handling explosives when they joined the UTK but they could have undergone training in explosives at other times during their service, he said. During basic training, they were exposed to the handling of explosives under the supervision of a team leader, he added.

ABOVE & BELOW: The gist of DSP Sri Kumar's Testimony on Day 18

Sri Kumar, who joined the UTK on June 20 1992, was testifying under cross-examination by Azilah's counsel, Hazman Ahmad on the 18th day of the trial.
Azilah, 30, and Sirul Azhar, 35, are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, between
10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year while political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 46, is accused of abetting them.
Earlier, when examined by deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin, Sri Kumar said that during basic training, after completing the theory which covered explosives, wiring and safety, the trainees would be taken to the bombing range and given some explosives to detonate before a trainer.

Noorin: During operations who decides gets the explosives?
Sri Kumar: The respective team leaders would choose the trainees who would handle the explosives and the type of explosives to bring along.
Noorin: What is the procedure after training or an operation involving explosives ends?
Sri Kumar: When all the explosives are used up, it ends there. If there is any left over, the officer who filled the form or the personnel who took out the explosives should return them to the store.

Asked whether the group members could take away any leftover explosives or accessories without anyone's knowledge, he said that if the officer requested 500gm of plastic explosive, for example, and did not use it, then the amount returned to the store must be 500gm.
He said that if the explosives had been used and there was excess, it should be returned to the store.
"For plastic explosives of PE, they are not taken in their raw form during operations. Normally they are shaped before they are taken for operations.
"So the officer supervising the explosives will take the shaped charge for the operation. If it's not used, the shaped charge will be returned to the store in the same shape," he said.
Sri Kumar said that during training and operations under his supervision, there was no possibility of loss of explosives, "not even a single bit". However, he was not sure whether losses occurred under the supervision of other officers. Earlier, the court was told of the types of explosives used by the UTK and how they function. Justice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin even commented that today's session was like "learning the theory of explosives". Sri Kumar said the explosives used and stored in the UTK store included PE, Cutting Liner Charge (CLC), detonating or det cord, detonator and sound devices like flash bang. On the C4 explosive, he said it was a composition of four substances but was not available at the UTK
Asked whether any of the explosives could be detonated without the help of accessories he said that only the detonator could blow up by itself. Sri Kumar said the PE found in the UTK was like plasticine, pink in colour and packed in 500gm slabs like butter and could be could be easily shaped with the hand.

He said that except for the flash bang (which only let out a sound) the others were categorised as high explosives with speed of 1000-9000m per second.
He added that the claymore mine wire was a explosive which could be detonated with a electrical charge, including from a car battery with 12 volt power source.

Throughout Sri Kumar's testimony, Azilah and Sirul Azhar were listening attentively. When Noorin asked about the quantity of PE needed to blow up an object like a door or grille, Sri Kumar said: "It depends on the door or grille and the degree of explosion. It is enough to break a solid wooden door with only 100gm." He said a detonator must be used because it was the life of the explosion and for a more effective explosion, if the PE was insufficient, CLC could be used to add strength. "A wire will be used for safety purposes.

ABOVE & BELOW: Enhanced Images of the crime scene taken on Nov 7 2006. Any crater form? C4 was not used in UTK and CLC not used (no crater); then was it just hand grenades that was used?

It is connected to the fuse. Under cross-examination by Sirul Azhar's counsel, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, on whether the military also used the explosives used by the UTK, Sri Kumar said: "They are also used in other units of the Royal Malaysia Police like the bomb disposal squad and the general forces team but I don't know whether they are used in the military." On the effect of CLC if detonated above ground, he said it would form a crater and if the CLC was directed towards the earth, then it would head earthwards but the power of the explosion was spread overall. He said CLC must be used together with a detonator and the wire must be connected to a clicker and after the explosion, the wire near the CLC could be shattered and frayed but the end far away from it would be intact.

ABOVE : Lead DPP Tun Abdul Majid leaving Court on Day 18 Trial and BELOW: the van WPP5670 coming out of the Courst basement car parktaking the accused back to Sungei Buloh prison for the weekend rest

The hearing continues (on Monday, 16th Jul 07).

= == = =Watch the Day 18 Trial Video Clip (1 min 46s)

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