Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MORE PICS – ½ DAY 49 Altantuya Murder Trial; DNA Profiles Questioned – Due to Mutation & Bone fragments from various sources; Najib Submarine launch

Malaysiakini has no more coverage of the Altantuya Murder Trial and the Day focus is On
the Ultimatum to Anwar Ibrahim

Give us full video or face arrest, Anwar told Beh Lih Yi | Oct 22, 07 3:08pm with a
Malaysiakini.tv On Anwar ordered to hand in full Lingam clip

It was a half-day trial as the morning witness was on medical an it coincided with Najib's arrival in France for the Submarine Launch

Day 49 - Altantuya Murder Trial

Key witness down with dengue fever

R. Surenthira Kumar & Maria J. Dass, theSUN
DAY 49

ABOVE: Abdul Razak Baginda as seen on Day 49 Trial

SHAH ALAM (Oct 22, 2007): The Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial was derailed temporarily today morning after a key prosecution witness fell victim to suspected dengue fever. Lead Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah told judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin the prosecution’s 40th witness, chemist Shaari Desa, 40, would not be able to testify for at least a week due to his medical condition.

Shaari, the firearms and tool marks unit chief of the criminalistic section of the forensics division was supposed to continue with his testimony today and unveil the contents of the 69 envelopes and a parcel containing firearms, explosives, live bullets and casings and soil samples collected from the scene of the alleged crime. Today was the 49th day of the trial, which resumed after a 12-day break for Hari Raya. Mohd Zaki asked if the prosecution could continue by summoning the forensics police personnel to testify, but Tun Abdul Majid said since Shaari is a key witness, they would have to complete questioning the chemist before the forensics police could take to the witness stand.He said meantime, the previous witness, Chemistry department forensic division director J.Primulapathi (BELOW) would be called again to testify.

Tun Abdul Majid also told Mohd Zaki, another witness, a medical officer who is supposed to testify has been transferred to Penang. He added the prosecution is making arrangements to inform the medical officer to attend the hearing and that he will be a short witness. "We are not going to postpone the trial any longer and will continue with the other witnesses," Tun Abdul Majid told Mohd Zaki. Later, on being recalled, Primulapathi told the court he did not conduct a mutation study on the bone and tissue samples obtained from the crime scene to see if the samples were mutated. However he said if they were exposed to mutation as a result of nuclear radiation or prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays, the sequence would still be the same as they were all exposed together. "(However) from my experience, I don’t think they have been exposed," he said during re-examination by DPP Noorin Badaruddin. Primulapathi said he obtained a single source profile from the test he conducted and not a mixed profile. He said he would have obtained a mixed profile if the bones and flesh come from different sources but from the same scene of the crime. Primulapathi added that he did not at any stage of the experiment run into complexities or inability to interpret the DNA profile.

In reply to questions raised by Azilah’s lawyer Kuldeep Kumar (ABOVE) during cross examination on weather a person’s DNA sequence could be mutated, Primulapathi said this was possible if there was nuclear radiation or prolonged exposure to UV rays involved. "Some changes may appear in a person’s DNA sequence if he is exposed to these," he said adding that exposure does not change the entire sequence, just some minor changes on some parts of the DNA. Kuldeep also quizzed Primulapathi on weather he was told by a forensic pathologist in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) that there were non-human bones co-mingled with the human skeletal remains.
Kuldeep: On the conversation you had with Dr Shah (HKL forensic pathologist Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood), were you informed that the skeletal of human remains was co-mingled with one non-human bone?
Primulapathi: No
At the end of the re-examination judge Mohd Zaki Nd Yasin asked Primulapathi if his findings would have been affected if he had analysed other bones from the crime scene and found that they come from different sources.

Primulapathi: No, as the bones will be of different profile. "It will (only serve to) show that there is more than one person at the scene.

"Hearing continues tomorrow.

* The morning session of the trial was postponed as chemist Shaari Desa was down with suspected dengue fever.
* Chemistry department forensic division director J. Primulapathi was recalled to testify in the afternoon.

= = == = =and from Asian Sentinel - A Recap of the Trial so far of the Jig-saw puzzle?

Whatever Happened to Altantuya Shaariibuu?

Mat Salleh; 15 October 2007

Timid prosecution, long delays and avoiding a powerful witness in a sensational murder case raise questions about Malaysia’s judicial system. AltantuyaThe trial of Abdul Razak Baginda and two of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s bodyguards for the October 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu has been underway for 150 days with neither the prosecutors nor defense showing much appetite for an aggressive proceeding. The brutal demise of Abdul Razak’s jilted girlfriend, a freelance Mongolian translator, has been lost in a haze of procedural motions and delays. Critics of Malaysia’s judicial and political systems frequently point to the closeness of Abdul Razak and the two bodyguards, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 31, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, to Najib.

The latter were part of the Special Action Squad, an elite team of bodyguards directly under Najib’s control, until they were arrested last November. Fewer than 50 days have been spent in court over the course of the five months since the trial began. As the trial resumed Oct. 10 after yet another lengthy delay, the prosecution said it had another 15 witnesses left to go with the 38 that have already appeared, leading one lawyer connected with the case to tell Asia Sentinel, “that is a huge number of prosecution witnesses to call, which I think is totally unnecessary.”

What began as gripping drama has devolved into grinding routine, and the Malaysian public has become increasingly bored with the trial. But it still remains one of the most spectacular trials in Malaysian history because of the gruesome execution of the beautiful 27-year-old woman, who was shot twice in the head and then had her body blown up with plastic explosives in a jungle clearing.
The foot-dragging and numbing technical proceedings have led to suspicions on the part of many that it is being deliberately delayed by the prosecution and the judiciary to lessen the eventual impact of an expected not-guilty verdict, although legal sources point out that Malaysia has no pre-trial discovery process, which means that in other jurisdictions time-consuming activities like the identification of evidence are concluded before the trial begins. But in the case at hand, suspicions have been heightened because of the politically well-connected defendant in a judicial system saddled with scandal, inefficiency and suspected collusion with government for nearly 20 years. The concerns emanate from a landmark event in 1988, when then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sacked Tun Salleh Abbas, the highly respected Lord President of the Supreme Court, when the court refused to buckle under on government decisions.
Certainly, there are questions about the delays, including a one-week break in mid September for a judges’ conference and another while Abdul Razak Baginda went for treatment of an eye problem. In August, there was a three-week break to give lawyers on both sides time to handle other cases. There have been lengthy trials-within-trials while prosecutors and defense attorneys squabbled over the admissibility of evidence. Most of last week was taken up with a debate on DNA evidence.
“In civil cases this is the usual thing,” the lawyer said. “But I am surprised that it has gone on this long. I don’t think we have had this kind of factual circumstance in a criminal trial in
Malaysia’s legal history.” The bodyguards accused of pulling the trigger, Azilah and Sirul, are alleged to have killed Altantuya at the behest of Abdul Razak, who had broken off his affair with her. She was demanding as much as US$500,000 in support money for a child he supposedly had fathered. In a statement to police, he acknowledged that he had given Altantuya US$10,000 on three separate occasions. As Asia Sentinel previously reported, there is abundant reason to suspect that Najib also knew Altantuya, despite his protestations, although his name has been mentioned only once in the Shah Alam high court where the trial is being held. Malaysia’s government-influenced newspapers have mentioned Najib only reluctantly in connection with the case, merely printing that he had sworn before Allah that he had never met the woman.
Najib and Abdul Razak, probably accompanied by the translator, were in France (see BELOW - Najib's last visit to France was in mid 2005.) together at the same time in 2005, perhaps because of a military procurement deal that netted Abdul Razak a fortune. In a letter left behind after her death, Altantuya said she regretted blackmailing Abdul Razak, although she didn’t say what the blackmail entailed. At the time she accompanied Abdul Razak to Paris, Malaysia’s defense ministry, headed by Najib, was negotiating without bids through a Kuala Lumpur-based company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd, which at the time was owned by yet another company called Ombak Laut, wholly owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, to buy two Scorpene submarines and a used Agosta submarine produced by the French government under a French-Spanish joint venture, Amaris.

The Malaysian ministry of defense paid one billion euros (RM4.5 billion) to Amaris for the three submarines, for which Perimekar received an 11 percent commission, 114 million euros (RM510 million) from Amaris. Deputy Defense Minister Zainal Abdidin Zin told the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s parliament, that the whopping commission was not a bribe, but was a fee for “coordination and support services.”

= = ==and from Singapore S T

Murder of Mongolian woman: Malaysians lose interest in 'trial of the

century'; Saturday, 06 October 2007, 07:10am, SST

. Altantuya murder trial: 'Sirul and Razak may be related'

. DNA link between accused; . 'Touch and go' cannot reveal DNA presence

Courtroom crowds have disappeared as hearings proceed at snail's pace

SHAH ALAM - JUST four months ago, the trial of political analyst Abdul Razak

Baginda was dubbed Malaysia's trial of the century. These days, it looks like the trial that Malaysians have forgotten. In the past month, only family members of the three accused and a handful of journalists have turned up in court daily. The trial has been mired in technical arguments and it is moving along so slowly that local newspapers have reduced their coverage on most days. Parts of the blown-up body of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu were found in November last year. Abdul Razak, 47, was charged with abetting her murder. Two men from an elite police unit, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 30, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 35, are accused of murdering her. In its early days, the trial was closely followed because of the gruesome nature of the murder and Abdul Razak's close links to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Also, the two policemen in the dock were part of a unit that guards VIPs, including Datuk Seri Najib. But four months later, the public has lost interest in the ongoing trial. On Thursday, the public gallery of the courtroom was only half-full, with only journalists and family members of the accused in attendance. Not a single member of the public was present. There was nothing of the frenzy of the first few weeks, when reporters had to arrive at dawn to get hold of the limited number of passes. Police officer Yusilawati Mat Yusof, who hands out the daily passes, said all 90 passes used to be snapped up by 8am, an hour before the court session began. 'We now give out about 40 a day and most would go to reporters,' she said. Among the faithful who have kept up their daily presence are Abdul Razak's parents. Another regular, Azilah's fiancee, Ms Azila Baharuddin, told The Straits Times: 'I know he is innocent. That's why I come almost every day.' Abdul Razak's wife Mazlinda Makhzan and daughter Rowena - who came every day at the start - have been absent recently as the daughter has started her studies at a British university. Said journalist Paw Ai Chin from Sin Chew Daily: 'My friends and family have stopped reading my stories. They say the trial's going nowhere.' Prosecutors, who earlier thought the trial would wrap up by end-September, now say they cannot give a date. Days at a stretch are spent on trial-within-a-trial proceedings, with lawyers arguing over the admissibility of evidence.

= == = == == = == == =and where is Najib now?

October 22, 2007 21:24 PM
Najib Arrives For Four-day Visit To France
From Roslan Ariffin

PARIS, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak arrived here Monday for a four-day visit to France to attend the launch of Malaysia's first Scorpene submarine in Cherbourg and to meet French ministers. On hand to receive Najib, who was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, at the Le Bourget Airport here at 1.30pm local time (7.30pm Malaysian time) were Malaysian Ambassador to France Datuk S. Thanarajasingam and senior Malaysian government officials.

This is Najib's first visit to France after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected sixth president on May 6, succeeding Jacques Chirac. Najib's last visit to France was in mid 2005. Najib arrived here from a two-day visit to Russia to receive Malaysian angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha whose Soyuz TMA-II spacecraft landed on earth yesterday, after a 11-day stint at the International Space Station (ISS). Tonight, Najib will attend a welcoming dinner hosted by Thanarajasingam at Malaysia House here. Speaking to Malaysian reporters, Thanarajasingam said later today the Deputy Prime Minister will attend a reception hosted by Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein at the Unesco building here. He said the reception was part of Najib's efforts to lend support to Hishammuddin who is vying for a seat in the 58-member Unesco's Executive Board at the ongoing biennial Unesco General Conference here. The conference is scheduled to elect the executive board members for a four-year term on Wednesday.

A long-standing Unesco member since 1958, Malaysia's last representation in the executive board was in 1999 by Najib himself, who was then the Education Minister. Thanarajasingam said the highlight of Najib's visit will be tomorrow when he witnesses the launch of Malaysia's own submarine in Cherbourg, a dock city where the submarine is manufactured, about 400km south-west of Paris.

He said Rosmah would launch the Scorpene submarine and name it. The second submarine will be delivered to Malaysia next year. In Cherbourg, Najib will be briefed on the submarine by Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS), the company building the Malaysian Scorpene submarines. The 1.04 billion Euro (about RM3.4 billion) procurement of the submarines was signed in June 2002 between Malaysia, DCNS -- a French shipbuilding, submarine and naval services company, and Spanish shipbuilder Navantina. Thanarajasingam said on Tuesday Najib, who is also Defence Minister, is scheduled to meet his French counterpart Herve Morin. At a dinner here on Tuesday, Najib is expected to meet about 200 Malaysians and students in France. On the third day of his visit, he will deliver a public lecture entitled "Defence-Security Issues in outheast Asia" at Institute Francais des Relations and Internationals. "This event is important because French leaders and the people hoped Malaysia can explain to them the regional security issues in Asean. "Among them are the latest developments in Myanmar, security in the Straits of Melaka and possibility of an arms race in Asean (after Malaysia takes delivery of the submarine)," he said.

Najib will depart for home via London on Thursday. Malaysia established diplomatic ties with France in July 1958. There are about 1,000 government-sponsored students pursuing tertiary education in areas such as engineering in French universities. Mara and Telekom Malaysia have also sent students to the European nation. Total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from France to Malaysia from January to July stood at RM8.32 billion, making France Malaysia's fourth largest trading partner in the European Union. Last year, France accounted for 1.63 per cent of Malaysia's global trade, comprising 1.74 per cent exports and 1.49 per cent imports.

Malaysia is France's second largest trading partner in Asean after Singapore.Thanarajasingam said France, Malaysia's 16th largest trading partner, was looking at developing several proposals to enhance Kuala Lumpur-Paris relations since there has been a lot of cooperation between the two countries over the years. Major exports from Malaysia are semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, cathode ray tubes, micro-assemblies, photo cells, audio and visual recorders, radios, automated data processing machines and apparel and clothing. Imports from France are semi-conductors, telecommunications equipment, parts and accessories, manufactured goods, chemicals and foodstuff as well as cosmetics and perfumery. French companies have also invested in Malaysia in areas such as electrical and electronics, rubber products, petroleum and coal, plastic products and food manufacturing

= == = Go H E R E latest Updates On

MORE PICS – Malaysian Space traveller Returns -Soyuz TMA-10 with Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin & Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov; Oct 21 07, 1036GMT (6.36pm local Time); SOYUZ craft veered off its designated course. And what did Kelantan MB said

= == = == == = == =


UPDATE: Day 50 – Altantuya Murder Trial – Oct 23rd 2007

CSI officer says 13 items retrieved from 4WD vehicle
R. Surenthira Kumar and Maria J. Dass, theSUN

DAY 50

ABOVE & BELOW: Day 50 trial star witness Supt Soo Mee Tong, 51, from the Forensics Division in the Senior Police Officers’ College in Cheras

SHAH ALAM (Oct 23, 2007): A police forensics crime scene investigation (CSI) officer testified in the Altantuya Shaariiibuu murder trial today that 13 items were retrieved from a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Supt Soo Mee Tong, 51, from the Forensics Division in the Senior Police Officers’ College in Cheras listed the items to the court. They included a lump of soil found on the blue mudflap of the left front tyre, a lump of soil found on the inside of the rim of the front right tyre, a steering wheel cover, a Smart Tag, a Touch ‘n Go card, a blood-stained copy of Utusan Malaysia dated Sept 14, 2006, a pair of blood-stained rubber slippers, a 9mm SME 06 bullet shell, sweat swab from the door handle, a strand of hair and a few other copies of newspapers. Soo said the items were recovered from the greyish blue 1,300cc Suzuki four-wheel-drive with registration number CAC 1883 after a check by the CSI team on Nov 9. Replying to questions from Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Hanim Rashid during the prosecution’s examination-in-chief on the 50th day of the trial today, he said the inspection on the vehicle was conducted by the CSI team following a request from the investigating officer ASP Tonny Lunggan at about 11pm on Nov, 8, 2006. Asked by Hanim the reason the CSI team did not conduct the check on the vehicle on the same day, Soo said to make their investigations more effective, the check was carried out during daytime, the following day. Soo said after a briefing by Tonny at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters (IPK KL), the CSI team was shown the vehicle which was parked in IPK KL’s parade ground.

Investigations by the CSI team on the vehicle was conducted in three stages and photographs of the vehicle and all the items recovered were taken, said Soo. He said the Smart Tag was found on the dashboard with the Touch ‘n Go card while the hair was found on the front passenger seat. In the rear, he said, there was only one seat, behind the passenger. The slippers were found on the mat, on the rear seat and a white box with the wordings "Planet T 792" was found on the missing seat area, said Soo, adding that three shirts and fishing equipment were found placed on the box while inside there was more fishing equipment. The bullet shell was found in the space between the driver’s seat and the door. After the court returned from lunch, Soo continued his testimony by identifying eight of the 13 items including the Sept 14, 2006 edition of Utusan Malaysia which had stains on the top right hand corner of the paper. "This stain was believed to be blood," said Soo who had lead the forensic team which retrieved the paper from Sirul’s Suzuki Jeep, belonging to Sirul. This stain which was on pages one and three of the paper was confirmed to be blood when a screening test were conducted on it using the Castle-Mayer solution at the police forensic lab in Cheras, he added. "However it is not known if the blood is human or that of an animal," said Soo. He said the copy of the newspaper was taken by the forensic team to conduct DNA tests on the blood stain.

ABOVE & BELOW: List of items adduced by prosecution on Day 50 Trial

Soo said the team had collected other newspapers from the vehicle to see if any fingerprints could be lifted off these using the Ninhydrin solution in the forensic lab. He explained that the soil samples collected from the left mudguard of the front tyre of the vehicle, and the inner rim of the right front tyre of the 4WD was to make comparisons with soil samples obtained from the crime scene. Soo said similarly the 9mm bullet casings that were collected from the jeep, were taken to match it to any bullet casings (if found) at the crime scene, while the steering cover from the vehicle was taken to do a DNA comparison to the people who had driven the car.

Meanwhile, the court was told that prosecution witness Shaari Desa, 40 is expected to testify onThursday (Oct 25). Shaari who is firearms and tool marks unit head at the Chemistry Department Forensic division was thought to have been down with dengue, however DPP Hanim Rashid informed the court that he was not down with dengue but was affected by an infection. Earlier this morning, another witness, Mohd Roslan Abdul Karim, 32, a computer programmer with Rangkaian Segar Sdn Bhd testified. Lead DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah asked Mohd Roslan to explain about the printouts of the "Touch ‘n Go" card transactions, belonging to L/Cpl Rohaniza Roslan. Mohd Roslan said he designed the system which was used to record the transactions. He said despite the omittance of details of the names of the toll plazas utilised, the code numbers used was adequate to indicate the specific toll plaza entered or exited. However he was at a loss, when asked by defence lawyers, Hazman Ahmad and Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, representing C/Insp Azilah Hadri and Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar respectively, on why the details appeared in one of the documents and was missing in another.

ABOVE: 3rd accused Abdul Razak Baginda on Day 50 Trial

= = == == =

BELOW: DPP Noreen on Day 5o Trial

= == == == = == == = == = == = ==
ABOVE: Defence layer Kamarul Hisham for Sirul Azhar and BELOW Defence lawyer Hamzah for Azilah

* Mohd Roslan Abdul Karim, 32, a computer programmer with Rangkaian Segar Sdn Bhd testified.
* Supt Soo Mee Tong, from the police forensics division took the witness stand.


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