Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Maria J.Dass, The Sun
Setev Shaariibuu, the father of murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, turned up in court unannounced early this morning to the surprise of unprepared press photographers who scrambled to get their lenses focused.
Shaariibuu who walked out of the lift at about 9.55am walked up to reporters and police officers who were familiar with him and shook their hands before making his way into court to hushed whispers from the family members and friends of the accused who were also taken aback to see him there.
He was accompanied by Mongolian interpreter Enkhhjargal Tsetsgee and Mongolian consul-general in Malaysia Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi who said Shaariibuu had arrived in Malaysia on Sunday (June 22) night and is expected to return home on Thursday (June 26).
Shaariibuu, who later spoke to reporters through the interpreter outside the court, said his visit this time was in anticipation of the end of the prosecution's case, as he had expected to know if defence would be called.
However, this is some time away as the court today set July 23 to hear submissions on two impeachment proceedings, two trial within trials and the trial proper.
He then distributed to the press a statement listing out several points he has been pondering over the last two years, also distributed a letter from Mongolian foreign affairs ministry to the Attorney-General’s (A-G) Chambers' civil division head Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah.
The letter was signed by its consular department deputy director Yadmaa Ariunbold was CCed to Mongolian MPs, its foreign minister, and BCCed to A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and lawyer Karpal Singh who is holding a watching brief for the Mongolian government.
In the letter Yadmaa recapped that he had visited Malaysia from May 29, 2008, and met officials from police, foreign ministry and Tun Abdul Majid to reiterate Mongolia’s position on the issue.
"With goodwill between our two countries, I anticipate that the Malaysia side would ensure fair and independent court trial till the end," Yadmaa said.
The letter went on to say: "Any further ruling and judgment on the above stated case, whatever violating the internationally accepted norms and standards, would force Mongolia yo take an action that could affect bilateral relations between our friendly nations and inter alia, to bring this issue to the attention of the regional and international arena with pure legal concept of human rights and democracy."
"The government of Mongolia remains following the entire legal process on this severe criminal case with particular attention," Yadmaa added.
Meanwhile, Shaariibuu did not want to comment on blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s statutory declaration implicating a VIP's wife and two armed forces personnel in the murder, saying it was not for him to say. He however referred to Raja Petra as a person seeking justice.
On the progress of the case he said: "We’ll wait for the submissions and then we’ll see what happens after that."
Asked if his government or anyone had told him what he needed to do, Shaariibuu said: "I am well known in Mongolia and many people have told me what to do and say but at the end of the day, it is my call."