Altantuya’s family withdraws appeal over court’s dismissal of bid to use criminal verdict in lawsuit

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

The family of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu today withdrew their appeal against a High Court’s dismissal of their bid to use the Federal Court’s criminal verdict over her (Altantuya) murder for their civil lawsuit.

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo representing the family informed the Court of Appeal’s three-member bench of the withdrawal with no order as to cost.

Justice Datuk Dr Badariah Sahamid, who chaired the bench, subsequently struck out the appeal. The other two judges were Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin.

The family members — Altantuya’s father Dr Shaariibuu Setev (picture), her mother Altantsetseg Sanjaa and her sons Mungunshagai Bayarjargal and Altanshagai Munkhtulga — had filed an appeal against the Shah Alam High Court’s decision on Oct 1, 2018 in rejecting their application to use the evidence in a Federal Court ruling that convicted two policemen for her murder, in their RM100 million lawsuit.

Then High Court judge Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera (now Court of Appeal judge) ruled that Section 43 of the Evidence Act 1950 does not allow the use of criminal convictions in civil cases.

Altantuya’s family members had filed a lawsuit on June 4, 2007 claiming that her (Altantuya’s) death had caused them mental and psychological trauma and sought damages including dependency claims.

They had named two police officers, namely Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda and the government as defendants in the suit.

Abdul Razak was charged with conspiring with Azilah and Sirul Azhar to kill Altantuya, 28, in 2006, but he was acquitted of the charge in October 2008 without having to enter his defence, while Azilah and Sirul Azhar were found guilty in 2009.

On Aug 23,2013, the Court of Appeal allowed Azilah and Sirul Azhar’s appeal and acquitted them of the charge but their acquittal was overturned by the Federal Court on Jan 13,2015, following the prosecution’s appeal.

Sangeet Kaur told reporters that the appeal was withdrawn in view of the position of the law that criminal convictions cannot be used in civil lawsuit.