• Policeman collapses in court, later dies
SHAH ALAM (July 25, 2008): "No one seems to be telling the truth, everyone seems to be lying and contradicting each other."
This was the blanket outburst from defence counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin for second accused Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar, as the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial was thrown into a pool of contradictions today. His statement was in obvious reference to the testimonies of Chief Insp Koh Fei Cheow and ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin.
To this, DPP Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah retorted: "Be fair, Kamarul! If all the witnesses are liars, then the accused are liars too."
He was obviously referring to first accused Chief Insp Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar who had testified too during the trial.
Kamarul then responded saying: "If that’s the case, then there is nothing to stand on."
Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin then told Tun Abdul Majid: "You have your turn later."
Kamaral’s key point during Friday's submission for a trial-within-a-trial to determine if a disclosure by Sirul Azhar should be adduced as evidence revolved around the question of whether the latter had uttered the words: "I’ve kept the items in my jacket" and "these are the items".
According to the police, Sirul Azhar had said this as he removed a black jacket from a closet in his room at his apartment in Gugusan Semarak, Kota Damasara.
Police said a pair of earrings, a ring and a Larmes watch belonging to Altantuya were found in the jacket.
Kamarul said when a careful look at the police report filed by Zulkarnain showed that it it did not describe the items of jewellery as having been found in the jacket.
"The inference is obvious, when the report was filled up, the police had not decided where the items should be said to have been found," he said.
Kamarul also brought up the circumstances in which second accused Sirul Azhar was made to pose with the black jacket from his cupboard containing the pair of earrings, a ring and a Larmes watch, and the sequence of events and contradictory statements that shows that the latter was probably made to pose with the items.
These were statements pertaining to the disclosure of the items from ASP Zulkarnain Samsudin, Chief Insp Koh Fei Cheow and Cpl Chiam Swee Guan:
Zulkarnain: Sirul took out the jacket from the closet himself and then said "Saya simpan barang kemas di dalam jacket" (I kept the jewellery in the jacket).
Koh: Zulkarnain took out the black jacket (from the closet) and placed it on the bed.
Chiam: Sirul Azhar opened the closet and took out a black jacket saying "barang kemas saya simpan dalam jacket" (The jewellery, I’ve kept in the jacket.)
On the picture Sirul Azhar was allegedly made to pose for:
Zulkarnain: Photographer L/Cpl Kamarolzaman captured a shot of this (Sirul taking out the jacket from the closet).
Koh: Only Zulkarnain, Cpl Chiam Swee Guan and I entered the room with Sirul Azhar. (Kamarolzaman not included).
Chiam: As soon as we entered the house, Sirul Azhar headed to the closet, opened the door and removed a black jacket and said "the jewellery, I’ve kept in the jacket".
"This proves clearly that the occasion which Zulkarnain alleged Sirul Azhar made the statement was not even there," said Kamarul asking: "Was the statement ever made? There is more than a reasonable doubt," he said.
Kamarul said according to Chiam, the act of Sirul Azhar walking to and removing the jacket from the closet was a continuous act and that the picture of him pointing to the items did not happen at all. "This proves that the picture was posed and fabricated for the benefit of the police."
Kamarolzaman told the court that the picture of the room door was taken 10 to 15 minutes after he had been in the house. He said Zulkarnain came out (of Sirul Azhar’s room) and ordered him to take pictures after the items were found.
"After this, ASP Zul (Zulkarnain) ordered me to take a picture of Sirul Azhar pointing at the jacket in the cupboard. I only snapped his picture once. After that, I was ordered to take a picture of him pointing to the jewellery which was placed on a black jacket on a bed in the same room," Kamarolzaman said.
"This means that the pictures were taken after the disclosure and we argue that whatever statement made after the discovery of any item is no longer admissible under Section 27 of the Evidence Act," Kamarul said.
Kamarolzaman confirmed during cross examination that he was not in the room during the examination and only entered later, said Kamarul.
"Zulkarnain cannot speak for the cameraman, the cameraman spoke for himself and Zulkarnain cannot contradict that," he said.
"We have always contended that the photos had been orchestrated to create evidence," he added.
Hearing continues on Monday.
Policeman collapses in court, later dies
SHAH ALAMP (July 25, 2008): A policeman who brought an accused to the Shah Alam court for the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial this morning collapsed in the witness room. He died at the National Heart Institute later in the afternoon.
L/Cpl Othman Abd Rahman, 47 apparently had difficulty breathing after climbing the spiral staircase two floors up to the court room.
After delivering the accused to court, he sat in the witness room. His colleagues sensed that he was in physical trauma and attended to him.
Othman collapsed and there was a frenzy in and outside the court as those inside tried to revive him and those outside tried to arrange for transport to get him to hospital. His colleague, L/Cpl Abu Bakar Hussin, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him.
Abu Bakar managed to revive Othman, who had at one point stopped breathing.
Othman's colleagues then carried him on a court bench to a police van in front of the courthouse which rushed him to hospital. The ambulance only arrived 15 minutes later.
Othman died at the NHI at 1.15pm.