Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Karpal: Probe Raja Petra's claims for fresh evidence - The Sun

KUALA LUMPUR (June 24, 2008): By Charles Ramendran

DAP chairman and lawyer Karpal Singh said today the Attorney-General (A-G) should investigate the contents of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin's statutory declaration on the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder if it helps bring new evidence to the on-going murder case.
"For him to make such claims in the affidavit makes me think he may know or have something (on the case)," he said in a press conference held in his law office on Jalan Pudu Lama with Altantuya's father Shaariibuu Setev.

Asked if Raja Petra's action to make the declaration public amounted to sub judice as claimed by police, Karpal said he did not see how this was so as the murder trial was ongoing and it made sense to include new evidence which may crop up to be made admissible in the case.

He said although the prosecution has closed its case in the trial, they should not be deterred from further probing the disclosures.

He added if the allegations were found to be true, the A-G can apply to the court to re-open the prosecution's case.

Karpal said he welcomed the A-G's assurance that he will probe to seek the truth as he views the allegations seriously.

He said it was important that every effort be made to see that the trial goes on fairly as it is not just the family of Altantuya and the Mongolian government who will need to be appeased but the international community.

The lawyer said he will go to the A-G's office at 10am tomorrow with Setev although an appointment had not been secured with the A-G.

Speaking with the help of a translator, Setev said he learnt about Raja Petra's affidavit after reading the newspapers and had sought Karpal's advice on it.

In his declaration, Raja Petra said he was informed that three people, including the wife of a VIP, were present at the crime scene on the day Altantuya was said to have beeen blown up with plastic explosives.

Following this, a police report was lodged by the A-G's Chambers.

The police were quoted as saying that they are scrutinising the report and are expected to call up Raja Petra and all those named in the affidavit for questioning.

Police had also said the blogger's actions to post the statutory declaration on his website was sub judice and he could face charges and imprisonment of up to two years for the offence.

In the Dewan Rakyat today, Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar rejected a motion by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) to defer proceedings to discuss Raja Petra's statutory declaration on the grounds that the murder trial was in progress in the (Shah Alam) High Court.

Lim said the credibility and legitimacy of the present administration will suffer a blow if the leaders remain silent on the allegations.

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