Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Day 35 – Altantuya Murder Trial; DSP Feigned Nervousness & “DPP Threats” in Court’s Contradictory Testimony with Statement

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AN UPDATE: Day 36 Trial; Sept 06 07

Day 35 Altantuya Murder Trial 5th Sep 2007

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

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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.

Watch Video Clip (1.07 mins) - Day 35 Altantuya Murder Trial

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ABOVE: Malaysiakini late evening Report on Day 36 Trial, details H E R E

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UPDATE: Day 36 Trial; Sept 06 07
Photos not re-enacted, says cop

R.Surenthira Kumar; SUN
Day 36

SHAH ALAM (Sept 6, 2007): A police photographer denied some of the pictures taken during the search conducted in Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar's flat were re-enacted.

L/Cpl Kamarol Zaman Mat Nor, replying to questions from Sirul Azhar's lawyer, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, said the pictures were taken in sequence spontaneously and not re-staged as suggested by the defence lawyer. He was testifying as the prosecution's witness in a trial-within-a-trial in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial today before judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin. Kamarol Zaman, 41, is with the photography unit of the Criminal Investigation Department 's (CID) D6 division based in the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters (IPK KL). The trial-within-a-trial was initiated to determine the admissibility of Sirul Azhar's statement on the discovery of the jewellery belonging to the Mongolian national in his Kota Damansara flat last Nov 7.

Ahmad Zaidi: The photos H and I. I say, it was a re-enactment. Agree?
Kamarol Zaman: Disagree
Ahmad Zaidi: Refer to photo F. You said the picture was taken after the items (jewellery belonging to Altantuya) were found by the serious crimes division team led by ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin in Sirul Azhar's room.
Kamarol Zaman: I disagree. The photos F and G were taken before the items were found. That's why the room looked orderly. I only took pictures of the opened room door and the view in the room. I did not enter the room.
Mohd Zaki: The photos H and I were taken after you were informed the items were found. So, isn't it a re-enactment?
Kamarol Zaman: I disagree the suggestion that it was a re-enactment.
Ahmad Zaidi: Why do you say you disagree?
Kamarol Zaman: Because the pictures were taken spontaneously and on the instructions of ASP Zulkarnain.
He said Zulkarnain told him to be on standby with his camera and to snap photos when Sirul Azhar pointed and showed the jacket and the items found after the search.

However, Kamarol Zaman admitted he received specific instructions from Zulkarnain not to enter Sirul Azhar's room when the search was being conducted and he was called in to take the photos after the team had completed their work.

Kamarol Zaman was also unable to tell what the three bomb disposal unit personnel did at the house as he was not sure if they had entered Sirul Azhar's room or not.

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Earlier in the day, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah continued with his examination-in-chief on Cpl Chiam Swee Guan.
He was asked to narrate what transpired from the point when the serious crimes division (D9) officers and personnel escorted Sirul Azhar from IPK KL to his home, located on the third floor of Block C flats at Gugusan Semarak in Kota Damansara. Chiam got into difficulties in answering several questions from Tun Abdul Majid in connection with, whether he heard ASP Zulkarnain instructing Sirul Azhar to point to his black jacket which was removed from the wardrobe in his room.

He also asked for the questions to be repeated several times, claiming he did not understand it. Chiam also faltered when asked if similar instruction was given to Sirul Azhar to point to the jewellery, allegedly taken out of his jacket pocket and placed on the bed for photos to be taken. At first he answered there an instruction, but later said there was no such directive before finally saying he was not sure as he was unable to remember.

Chiam also refuted suggestions by Sirul Azhar's other lawyer Hasnal Rezua Merican that he and the D9 team knew in detail Sirul Azhar's house address when they embarked on the journey from IPK KL on Nov 7, 2006. Chiam was also grilled about who entered earlier and who went later among the D9, bomb disposal unit (UPB) and Special Action Unit (UTK), when they arrived at Sirul Azhar's flats. His version differed from the previous witnesses, who also gave similar contradicting testimonies.

Hearing continues tomorrow.

What happened today:
> Cpl Chiam Swee Guan from the CID continued his testimony in the trial-within-a-trial.
> Police photographer L/Cpl Kamarol Zaman Mat Nor testified.

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September 06, 2007 16:00 PM

Witness: Sirul Told Io That Altantuya's Jewellery Were In His Jacket

SHAH ALAM, Sept 6 (Bernama) -- A policeman told the High Court here Thursday that he heard Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, accused of murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu, telling the investigating officer that he kept the Mongolian's jewellery in a black jacket.

ABOVE: Corporal Chiam Swee Guan arriving in Court always with a luggage of evidence (BELOW)

Corporal Chiam Swee Guan, (ABOVE) 43, said Sirul Azhar then gave the jacket to ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin who placed it on the bed, checked it and took out a ring, a pair earrings and a watch from it. "As soon as the three items were taken out, Sirul Azhar pointed to them saying that they were her (Altantuya's) things. It was then that the photographer took the pictures," he said, adding that all this took place in Sirul Azhar's room, after the latter opened his cupboard.

Chiam was testifying at a trial-within-a-trial to determine the admissibility of Zulkarnain's evidence that Sirul Azhar showed him where Altantuya's jewellery was kept.

Sirul Azhar, 36, and Chief Insp Azilah Hadri,(ABOVE, the Hooded ones) 31, are charged with murdering Altantuya, 28, in Mukim Bukit Raja while political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda is charged with abetting them.

ABOVE: Abdul Razak Baginda arriving on Day 36 Trial and BELOW Tagged along by Daughter Rowena and wife Mazlinda

= == = == = == BELOW: Lawyer Hamzah for Azilah Hadri


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