Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Day 34 – Altantuya Murder Trial; DPP Challenges Credibility - 3rd Defence Witness DSP Mohd Yusri; Sgt Rosli Confusion over Keys

ABOVE: Malaysiakini came out with an evening report on Day 35 (details H E R E)

See Below

UPDATE: Day 35 Altantuya Murder Trial- Sep 05 07

from SUN & Bernama (Brief)

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DAY 34 – Altantuya Murder Trial

=== == = =ABOVE: Malaysiakini had a late report on the Trial (details H E R E) as they were bogged down with Parliament coverage
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September 04, 2007 21:12 PM

Prosecution Challenges Credibility Of Defence Witness

SHAH ALAM, Sept 4 (Bernama) -- The prosecution in the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial once again applied to the High Court here to be allowed to challenge the credibility of a witness, but this time it involved a senior police officer who had been called to be a witness for the defence.

The application was made by the head of the prosecution team Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah after the the defence's third witness, DSP Mohd Yusri Hasan Basri (ABOVE), 33, gave testimony that was doubtful in a trial-within-a trial held to determine the admissibility of Sirul Azhar's statement to interrogating officer ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin which led to the discovery of Altantuya's jewellery at his house at Kota Damansara. Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin allowed the proceedings for this to be conducted tomorrow. Sirul Azhar, 36, and Chief Inspector Azilah hadri, 31, are accused with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year.

Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 47, is charged with abetting them. On July 2, the prosecution did the same on its own witness, Lans Koperal Rohaniza Roslan because her testimony in court did not match the cautioned statement she had given to the police. Mohd Zaki said he would make a decision on it at the end of the prosecution's case. Earlier when giving testimony, Mohd Yusri, who is attached to the Federal Police's Special Action Squad (UTK), had mostly answered "don't know" and "not sure" to questions posed to him by both the prosecution and defence.

About 15 minutes into his testimony, Mohd Yusri said he had exceeded his limit in testifying after lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, who is representing Sirul Azhar, asked him to repeat an answer. He then tried to remain silent but Ahmad Zaidi persisted, with the judge joining in and telling him to answer, causing him to answer differently from before. First he had told the court that investigating officer C/Insp Koh Fei Cheaw had allowed him to bring out materials belonging to the UTK from Sirul's house after the police had checked the premises, then changed it to that Koh had allowed him to remove them.

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Sirul: Not the same keys

R. Surenthira Kumar; Sun; Updated: 08:28PM Tue, 04 Sep 2007

SHAH ALAM (Sept 4, 2007): A witness today denied that a set of keys to Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar's flat that was produced by the prosecution for identification were the same ones given to him earlier. Sgt Rosli Ibrahim (ABOVE), from the Special Action Unit (UTK)'s Communications section, said the bunch handed to him by the unit's chief, ACP Mastor Mohd Ariff, on Nov 6, 2006, contained "more than 10 keys". The set produced by the prosecution today had only three keys. Rosli, who is a squad mate of Sirul Azhar, told the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial that the bunch given to him had worn-out keys while the set showed to him yesterday looked new and shining.

The 36-year-old personnel who joined the force about 17 years ago with Sirul Azhar was replying to questions from Sirul Azhar's lawyer Ahmad Zaidi Zainal during a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of Sirul Azhar's statement to the police pertaining to jewellery belonging to Altantuya that were found in his flat.

Later, during cross-examination, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid (ABOVE) Tun Hamzah said the only reason Rosli claimed the keys were not the same as that he received from Mastor was that the set shown to him consisted of fewer than 10 keys. He then asked Rosli whether he had counted the keys. Rosli said he did not, but estimated it could have been more than 10 keys.

He also disagreed with Tun Abdul Majid that he could not ascertain whether there were about 10 keys or more than that, or whether they were seasoned or new, because he did not examine the keys. Rosli said when he received the keys, there were many and they were not shining.

Rosli earlier told the court he went to Sirul Azhar's home last Nov 7 on Mastor's order to hand over the keys to Chief Insp Koh Fei Chow from the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters (IPK KL)'s serious crimes division (D9). Rosli said he went with (then) ASP Yusri and Sgt Zafri Ismail, both from UTK, and waited for Koh and his team to arrive.

He said Koh and four to five personnel from IPK KL arrived about half an hour later with a photographer and a bomb disposal unit and they headed to Sirul Azhar's flat in Kota Damansara. After opening the padlock, grille and main door, Sirul Azhar was told to sit on a chair near the dining hall while Koh and the D9 personnel entered Sirul Azhar's room and shut the door. Rosli said he had told Koh about Mastor's directive to search and retrieve any property belonging to the police force and Koh agreed to allow him to do so. He said after a while, Koh called him into the room, and the three of them from UTK entered and closed the door behind them, after which a search was conducted. Rosli said he found some items belonging to the police and was given permission to take them back to Bukit Aman. However, he said he was not allowed to search the wardrobe in Sirul Azhar's room. Tun Abdul Majid also asked Rosli about Sirul Azhar's family background, especially on whether he knew Sirul Azhar was divorced and had two children, a daughter and a son. Rosli, who is also Sirul Azhar's supervisor, said he had visited Sirul Azhar and been to his flat and sympathised with what had happened to him. Tun Abdul Majid told judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin, the prosecution wanted to show to the court, Rosli was an interested party in the case. Tun Abdul Majid also said Rosli did not mention the UTK team's visit to Sirul Azhar's flat, when his statement was initially recorded. He only told them about it later when a third statement was recorded from him while the trial was ongoing in July. Rosli also refuted Tun Abdul Majid's suggestion that the UTK trio only entered Sirul Azhar's room after Koh and his team had completed their investigations and not at the same time as claimed by him.

= = = == = == = =September 04, 2007 18:12 PM

Colleague Sympathises With Accused

ABOVE Sergeant Rosli Ibrahim difficult task to testify against his colleague for 17 years?

SHAH ALAM, Sept 4 (Bernama) -- A close colleague of Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar told the High Court Tuesday that he sympathised with the accused for being charged with the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. Sergeant Rosli Ibrahim, 36, from the Bukit Aman Special Action Unit, said he had known Sirul Azhar for 17 years as they were in the same squad when they joined the Royal Malaysia Police. He was testifying in a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of Sirul Azhar's statement to interrogating officer ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin which led to the discovery of Altantuya's jewellery at his house at Kota Damansara. Rosli was called to testify to verify Sirul Azhar's contention that he was framed by the police who ordered him to identify the jewellery which had been placed in his black jacket.

Sirul Azhar, 36, and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 31, are accused with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year. Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 47, is charged with abetting them. Earlier, when examined by Sirul Azhar's counsel, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, Rosli said personnel from the serious crime division (D9) of the Kuala Lumpur police were near the cupboard in Sirul Azhar's bedroom where the jacket with the jewellery in it was found. He said the D9 personnel, whom he could not identify, were standing near the cupboard while Sirul Azhar was sitting on a chair at the dining table in the living room of the house and the door to the bedroom was closed.

Rosli said he was also in the bedroom at that time on the instruction of his superior, ACP Mastor Mohd Ariff, to check whether there were any properties belonging to the police. There were a few, including a piece of fire-proof clothing, two pieces of chemical-proof clothing and a bag containing, among others, elbow pad, knee guard and half harness, he said.

ABOVE & BELOW: 3rd Accused caught emerging from the lift on Day 34 Trial

= = == = == =Watch Video Clip - Murder Trial Day 34

being edited and loading soon

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UPDATE: Day 35 Altantuya Murder Trial 5th Sep 2007

DPP 'threatened' me, says DSP

Witness: Sirul gave directions to his home

R. Surenthira Kumar and Maria J. Dass; theSUN-Updated: 07:57PM Wed, 05 Sep 2007

ABOVE: An artist impression of the day's proceeding showing DPP questioning

DAY 35

SHAH ALAM (Sept 5, 2007): A Special Action Unit (UTK) officer told the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial he "panicked and trembled" when told to give evidence in court and that this was among the reasons why contradictions arose in his testimony. DSP Mohd Yusri Hasan Basri also shocked the court room when he said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah had "threatened" him outside the courtroom. He alleged the DPP pointed his finger at him and said that he would “gasak” (literally meaning beat) him when the trial resumes. Mohd Yusri said Tun Abdul Majid made the threat during a short break in the trial-within-a-trial today on admissibility of Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar's statement to the police in connection with the discovery of jewellery belonging to the Mongolian national in his Kota Damansara home.
He said this after judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin asked him to explain the contradictions which appeared in his testimony in court and the recordings in the witness statement (112 Statement). The prosecution earlier listed four contradictions in Mohd Yusri's statement and what he said in court and applied to impeach the police officer.

ASP Tony Lunggan had recorded the 112 Statement from Mohd Yusri (ABOVE, on Day 35) on Aug 2 and 3.

Mohd Yusri was also given a copy of the statement for him to read through before he was questioned. Asked if he had informed Tony or DSP Gan Tack Guan about his visit to Sirul Azhar's home on Nov 7, 2006, Mohd Yusri said he did not. The contradiction's in Mohd Yusri's testimony:
* In the 112 statement, Mohd Yusri said Sirul Azhar was in the room when the serious crimes division (D9) personnel conducted the check, whereas in court Mohd Yusri had said he was sure Sirul Azhar was not present in the room.
* In the statement, Mohd Yusri said he was not sure if Sirul Azhar was in the room when the UTK personnel were checking the room but in court he testified he was sure Sirul Azhar was not in the room.
* In the statement, Mohd Yusri said after permission was granted to retrieve the items belonging to the police force (UTK), he entered the room after the D9 team had finished conducting their investigations. This contrasted with his court testimony that he entered the room while they were conducting investigations.
* In the statement, Mohd Yusri said the bomb disposal unit entered the room later but in court he testified he was not sure.
Asked by the judge to explain the contradictions, Mohd Yusri said: "This is the first time in my 16-year career in the police force that I am testifying from the witness box. I panicked and trembled and it became worse after the DPP's threat and hearing resumed."

Mohd Zaki: That is in relation to your background. What we want to hear now is your explanation on the contradictions. Giving contradicting evidence is an offence. If the court finds there are contradictions, you can be charged with giving false evidence.
Mohd Yusri: When my statement was recorded by the investigating officer on Aug 2 and 3, it was in connection with an incident which took place nearly one year ago. Therefore, I was not able to remember the events that took place in Sirul Azhar's home. But after thinking hard to recall the incident, I can remember. My testimony in court is the correct one.

Mohd Zaki: You cannot recall the incidents which took place about nine months ago, but you can remember it after 10 months. He was referring to Mohd Yusri's contention that he can now remember better the events which took place last Nov 7 in court yesterday compared with when his statement was recorded on Aug 2 and 3 by Tony.
Mohd Zaki then adjourned hearing to attend a judges' elevation ceremony.

Witness: Sirul gave directions to his home

SHAH ALAM (Sept 5, 2007): Cpl Chiam Swee Guan (ABOVE), who was handcuffed to Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, during a visit to the accused home where the missing jewellery of Altantuya Shaariibuu was found, told the court that the accused had given directions to his home.

He also testified that only D9 personnel had entered the flat when its doors were opened by ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin. He is the prosecution's first witness in a trial within a trial being held to determine if Sirul Azhar's statement which led to the disclosure of Altantuya's watch and jewellery was rightfully obtained and if it should be excluded.

Chiam's statement differed from earlier statements by defence witness Sgt Rosli Ibrahim and DSP Yusri Hasan Basri from the Bukit Aman Special Action Unit (UTK) who stated that they had entered the apartment together with the D9 personnel. Chiam, who is now attached to the Kajang CID said the duo and their colleague Sgt Zafri did not enter the apartment together with them. "At about 3pm last Nov 7, ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin, C/Insp Koh Fei Cheow, C/Insp Shawal, Cpl Khairuddin, photographer L/Cpl Kamarulzaman, Cpl Sirul and myself went to Sirul's home to conduct a check," he told DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah during examination in chief. "Sirul was handcuffed to my left hand from the time we left the D9 office in the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent headquarters," Chiam said. He said when they reached Sirul's flat in Gugusan Semarak, Kota Damansara, he saw ASP Zulkarnain meeting with Yusri. Chiam said he knew Sirul's house number as the latter had told him that it was 5-3-7 when asked.
At this juncture, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin stood up and asked the court to record that no caution statement was read to Sirul Azhar when the question was asked.

However, Tun Abdul Majid (ABOVE) said this was not a confession and not incriminating evidence. Judge Mohd Zaki Md Yassin overruled Kamarul's request. To further questions from Tun Abdul Majid, Chiam said he did not see clearly how Zulkarnain opened the door and grille. "But he used his hands," quipped a cheerful Chiam to laughter from the court. Tun Abdul Majid then told Chiam: "Be serious about this." The witness then told the court that he did not know where Zulkarnain had obtained the keys.

He said when the D9 team entered the house, Sirul Azhar pointed out where his room was when asked by ASP Zulkarnain. He said Kamarulzaman, Zulkarnain, Koh, Sirul Azhar and himself then entered the room.

Another witness, Sirul Azhar's housemate computer technician Radzi Mohd Tahir (ABOVE), told the court that he rarely saw Sirul Azhar at home and that he only enters the latter's room when he was home. He also said he had never seen the watch and jewellery belonging to Altantuya which was found in Sirul's jacket's inner pocket.
Radzi, who is Sirul Azhar's babysitter's son, said he moved out on July 31, 2006, and returned to Kedah. He said he returned to the apartment two to three weeks after he found out that Sirul Azhar had been arrested to pick up the rest of his belongings.

Hearing continues tomorrow.
What happened yesterday (Day 35)
* Prosecution applies to impeach credibility of Special Action Unit (UTK) officer DSP Mohd Yusri Hasan Basri because of four contradictions in his witness statement and what he said in court.
* Prosecution calls its first witness in the trial-within-a-trial, Cpl Chiam Swee Guan, who is now with Kajang CID.
* Sirul Azhar's housemate, computer technician Radzi Mohd Tahir, was the third person to testify before court adjourned for the day.

ABOVE: Abdul Razak as seen in court on Day 35

= = == = == = == ==from Bernama Brief & Incomplete REPORT
September 05, 2007 16:35 PM

Witness Admits To Being Nervous In Court

SHAH ALAM, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- A defence witness in the Altantuya murder trial explained today that he was nervous and trembling when giving evidence in court yesterday, which resulted in contradictions between his testimony and his statement to the police. DSP Yusri Hasan Basri, 33, a Special Action Squad (UTK) senior officer, said he felt that way because it was the first time in his 16 years with the police force that he was testifying in court and in a high-profile case at that. The prosecution has applied to have Yusri impeached, claiming that there were contradictions in four instances between his testimony yesterday and the statement he had given to investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan on Aug 2 and 3 this year. Yusri had been testifying in a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of a statement allegedly made by accused Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar which led to the discovery of Altantuya's jewellery at his apartment.

Sirul, 36, and Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 31, are charged with the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year. Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 47, is charged with abetting them. Yusri said he felt even more nervous after Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah signalled to him during a break in the proceedings that he (Abdul Majid) was going to "get at him" when questioning him in court.

Yusri explained to Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin that he had spoken the truth in his testimony in court yesterday. He said that when he gave his statement to Tonny on Nov 7 last year, he could not remember much of what had happened at Sirul's house because of the nine-month time lapse?????. The court had heard earlier that police found the jewellery in a jacket of Sirul in a cupboard in his bedroom. The police went to Sirul's apartment in Kota Damansara on Nov 7 last year after getting information from Sirul on the jewellery. Sirul had denied that he had disclosed information to the police on the discovery of the jewellery and had said that he was directed by police to show the jewellery to be photographed.


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