Mongolian president urges Mahathir to reopen 2006 model murder case

Ms Shaariibuu Altantuya, 28, was killed and blown up with military-grade explosives in a forest on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in 2006.
Ms Shaariibuu Altantuya, 28, was killed and blown up with military-grade explosives in a forest on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in 2006.

ULAANBAATAR • Mongolia's president has urged new Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to reopen investigations into the murder of a Mongolian model near Kuala Lumpur in 2006.

Ms Shaariibuu Altantuya, 28, was killed and blown up with military-grade explosives in a forest on the outskirts of Malaysia's capital. In 2015, two former police officers were sentenced to death for the crime. But reports have alleged that the officers served as bodyguards for former premier Najib Razak, who was then deputy prime minister.

President Battulga Khaltmaa said reopening the case would not only help justice but also ease tensions between the two countries.

"As president of Mongolia, I pay special attention to the aggravated crime, that on Oct 18, 2006, a citizen of Mongolia and mother of two children Shaariibuu Altantuya was murdered in Malaysia," he said in a letter to Tun Dr Mahathir.

Sirul Azhar Umar, one of the former policemen convicted of the murder, said he is willing to assist in any renewed probe, provided he is granted a full pardon, news site Malaysiakini reported yesterday.

Civil society groups have alleged Ms Altantuya's murder was linked to her role as an interpreter and associate of former Najib adviser Abdul Razak Baginda, in Malaysia's purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines in 2002. Mr Najib has denied allegations of links to Ms Altantuya or corruption in the purchase.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 20, 2018, with the headline 'Mongolian president urges Mahathir to reopen 2006 model murder case'. Print Edition | Subscribe