Tuesday, December 04, 2007

MORE PICS – Day 64 & 65 Altantuya Murder Trial – Defense Questions Positive Identification of 1st & 2nd Accused; Explosives Placed on Face, Body & Leg

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MORE PICS – Day 64, 65 & 66 Altantuya Murder Trial
Day 64 -Defense Questions Positive Identification of 1st & 2nd Accused;
Day 65 - Plastic Explosives Placed on Altantuya’s Face, Body & Leg; Skull & bone fragments found on trees.;
Day 66
- Not Much Explosives used as No Crater formed

On Day 64, the Bukit Aman’s crime scene investigation unit head Supt Amidon Anan positively identified Kpl Sirul Azhar and C/Insp Azilah Hadri from the CCTV footages. But Datuk Hazman Ahmad, counsel for C/Insp Azilah questioned his qualifications to do so and Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Kpl Sirul Azhar’s counsel also said it was impossible to have a positive identification from the footages.

On Day 65, Post-blast investigations unit head DSP Muhammad Koey Abdullah said based on discussion with the pathologist on crime scene investigation, more than 1 bomb was used in the explosion and concluded hat explosives were placed on Altantuya’s face, body and leg. He agreed the bomb might have been placed in the victim’s mouth before being exploded.

He came to this conclusion following the discovery of small pieces of skull as big as 50 sen coins and hair were found hanging on trees and also pieces of bone. Based on pieces of bones, he concluded plastic explosives were used. If a large amount of explosives were used, no bone fragments or hair were to be found. In reply to DPP Noreen, every explosion should be followed by sound and vibration. In this case, based on investigations, the crime scene was located on top of a hill and the sound explosion was cushioned off by the forest surroundings

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Witness: ID based on features

By CECIL FUNG; cecil@thestar.com.my, DAY 64
SHAH ALAM: The two men caught on Hotel Malaya’s security cameras on Oct 18 last year were identified as the policemen accused of Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder based on their features. Bukit Aman’s crime scene investigation unit head Supt Amidon Anan (ABOVE) said he identified Kpl Sirul Azhar Umar as the man in a yellow shirt in the footage (BELOW) , based on his wide forehead and receding hairline, square face and broad shoulders.

As for the other man in the white shirt, (ABOVE) he said he identified him as C/Insp Azilah Hadri based on his oval face and small body frame. However, counsel for both accused challenged the findings, saying the witness was not a trained expert in the analysis of surveillance footages.

ABOVE: Artist impression of Azilah and BELOW: Sirul Azhar

Datuk Hazman Ahmad, counsel for C/Insp Azilah, first pointed out to Supt Amidon that he had no qualifications related to surveillance recordings. The witness agreed and said he only attended seminars on them. He also agreed that his conclusions were made based on what he had picked up from those seminars. Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Kpl Sirul Azhar’s counsel, also challenged Supt Amidon’s findings, saying that there was no way he could tell from some of the still images of the surveillance footage that the man in the yellow shirt had broad shoulders. The lawyer argued that the findings were inconclusive. Supt Amidon replied that whether it was conclusive or not depended on the court.

ABOVE: The dirt road leading to the crime scene and BELOW: the spot where the body was blown up in plastic explosives
= == = == = == = == = == = =BELOW: the bits & pieces found hanging on the trees

When pressed for an answer, his only reply was “could be” During re-examination by DPP Noorin Badaruddin, Supt Amidon told the court that the yellow shirt one of the two men was wearing had a distinct design because the sleeves were black. He also elaborated that his findings on the two men’s characteristics were based on all the still images recorded from the surveillance recording and not just one or two images. “I depended on the profile of the images. If it’s a side view, I might only be able to observe two or three of the identifying characteristics,” he said on Day 64 of the murder trial. Supt Amidon said he merely used the “conventional method” when he identified the two men in the footage, which was done by comparing the footage and a picture or a real person.

He said there was no necessity to use the forensic video anthropology method, which he had described as “very, very advanced,” because he knew C/Insp Azilah personally. At this juncture, the witness revealed that he had acted as a mentor to the murder accused at one time. “When I was the Selangor police contingent’s serious crimes division deputy head in the 90s, C/Insp Azilah was an investigating officer at the Sepang district police headquarters. “Whenever there was a robbery or murder there, he would contact me for a forensics assignment. “I’ve also taught him how to be a good investigating officer,” he said. Supt Amidon maintained that he was confident that his findings were conclusive.

Later, former Cheras forensics lab post-blast investigations head Deputy Supt Mohammad Koey (ABOVE) Abdullah took the stand as the 59th prosecution witness. The 46-year-old officer, who is undergoing an 18-month diploma in investigations science, said that from his experience at Bukit Aman’s bomb disposal unit, “high explosives” such as plastic explosives (models M12B1 and PP01), detonating cord, CE Primer and cutting linear charge (CLC) were supplied to the General Operations Force and Special Operations Force. The Special Operations Force, he said, comprised the VAT 69 commandos in Ulu Kinta and the Unit Tindakan Khas (Special Action Squad) in Bukit Aman. DSP Mohammad Koey continues his testimony today.

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Post-blast investigations unit head testifies
DAY 65

SHAH ALAM (Dec 4, 2007): Explosives were placed on the front part of the body of a person who was lying down face-upwards, a police officer told the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial today. Post-blast investigations unit head DSP Muhammad Koey (ABOVE) Abdullah told the court he came to the conclusion based on the absence of a crater at the seat of explosion, at the crime scene. Replying to questions from Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Noorin Badaruddin on the 65th day of the trial in the High Court here, Muhammad Koey said the conclusion was also derived upon "based on the 360 degree theory" whereby there would be a "surrounding effect" in an explosion. He said damage would be created below and above a site of an explosion, but in this case there was only damage to a tree located near the explosion site.

ABOVE & BELOW: Crime scene, more than 2 weeks after the explosion, no crater

"There was no crater formed as a result of the explosion, thus indicating that the explosives were placed on the front part of the medium (body)," said Muhammad Koey. The effects of the explosion, he said, would result in a three-phase reaction, positive, neutral and negative effects. Under the first phase, areas near the blast site would be charred or burnt; in the neutral stage there would be a vacuum stage during the push-out effect immediately after the explosion occurs and in the negative stage, debris from the explosion effect would settle on the ground or seat of the blast. Muhamamad Koey said the tree beside the seat of blast was scorched with "wounds" appearing on the tree bark and the dried leaves which were found grouped in the seat of the blast indicated the spot where the explosion was set-off.

He added that the finding of the human bone fragment, believed to be a part of the spinal cord, which was not shattered to smaller pieces indicated the explosives were placed on the front part of the body before it was detonated. Moreover, he said if the explosives had been placed below the body, the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) team would not have recovered the strands and lumps of hair found at the crime scene, as they would have been blown up beyond recovery. His findings were further compounded, said Muhammad Koey, due to the extent of damage caused to the rib-cage bones which were found shattered to small fragments. Asked as to the type of explosives found at the blast site, Muhammad Koey, said traces of RDX and nitrocellulose type of high explosive materials were found.

He said the type of explosives utilised was determined through the use of a special equipment called Itemiser III. The presence of broken pieces of claymore mine wires, about 4.5m and 33.8m from the site of the blast showed a detonator, which could be powered by batteries with a 6-volt power could have been utilised to carry out the blast, using a "clicker", adding that motorcycle or handphone batteries could be used for the detonation. Asked by judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin if batteries used for torch light could be used, Muhammad Koey said a combination of four 1.5 volts dry-cell batteries would be adequate to carry out the detonation. However, he said the CSI team did not recover the power source used and that it could have been taken away after the blasting was carried out.

Earlier, Muhammad Koey said he went to the crime scene on Nov 6 last year on the instruction of CSI head Supt Amidon Anan to assist him in the investigations in the case. He said as it was already dark when they arrived at the spot where the crime was alleged to have occurred and the CSI team decided to return the following day to carry out investigations. Muhammad Koey said the crime scene was secured by the police personnel until they returned on Nov 7, 2006.

ABOVE: The two accused and BELOW: Abdula Razak arriving on Day 25

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DAY 66
Thursday December 6, 2007
Expert: Not much explosives used

SHAH ALAM: “I have no experience blowing up a human. So, I can only give answers scientifically,” said former post-blast investigation section head of the police's forensic laboratory, Deputy Supt Muhammad Koey (ABOVE) Abdullah. This response came after he was pressed with questions on explosives during the murder trial of 28-year-old Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, which entered its 66th day yesterday.

C/Insp Azilah Hadri, 31, and Cpl Sirul Azhar, 36, of the Special Action Unit, are charged with the murder which involved the use of explosives between 10pm on Oct 19 last year and 1am the following day in a secondary jungle in Bukit Raja. Political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 47, is charged with abetting them.

DSP Muhammad Koey, 46, was earlier asked by Azilah's lawyer, Datuk Hazman (ABOVE) Ahmad, how much in explosives would it take to blow up Altantuya's body to bits. “In this case, in view of the absence of a crater, the amount of explosives was not much. If large quantities were used, there would be a crater,” he replied. He also told the court that a claymore mine was not used even though a claymore mine wire was found at the scene. The wire was probably used as an accessory, he said. Had a claymore mine been used, a crater would have been formed and ball bearings would have been found at the blast site, he said.

He also disagreed with Hazman's suggestion that a crater could have been formed had the explosives been placed on the body because a human body was soft, brittle and contained liquid. Earlier, DSP Muhammad Koey said that personnel with the Bomb Disposal Unit, General Operations Force and Special Operations Forces were taught basic skills in handling bombs. After undergoing basic and advanced courses, they were still required to follow strict procedures, he said. Asked on a rubber tube found at the murder scene, he said it was probably brought there by other people for catching birds. The trial before High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin continues on Monday. (10th Dec 07) . Now 1 week only 3 days reserved for this Trial

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Twenty-six Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters were charged with attempted murder and causing damage to public property during the mass rally in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25

MORE PICS – 26 Hindraf Supporters Charged - Non-Bailable Offences in Police Custody; Attorney-General led Prosecution against 17 Defence Lawyers

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