Altantuya's immigration records kept confidential due to murder trial: Malaysia Home Minister

Malaysia Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during a Parliament meeting on Monday.
Malaysia Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during a Parliament meeting on Monday. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network) - Immigration records of deceased Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu were kept confidential until last December to avoid affecting her murder trial, Malaysia Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told Parliament on Monday (March 21).

He was replying to a question by Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung on why the government had waited until December 2015 to confirm that the immigration travel records of Altantuya had not been erased.

Allegations had previously surfaced, particularly from Ms Altantuya's family, that her immigration records were removed from the system in an attempt to cover up the actual cause of her murder.

Two policemen were convicted of the 2006 murder of Ms Altantuya, who was 28 and involved in negotiations on a defence deal.

She was blown apart by explosives after being shot in a forest near Kuala Lumpur.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda were implicated in the case but both denied any involvement in her death. Abdul Razak stood trial for the murder and was acquitted in 2008.

Mr Ahmad Zahid said in his written reply on Monday that the police had investigated the immigration records of Ms Altantuya.

"We found that there was movement (travel) in the system and so the documents were used for investigations.

"Therefore, there was no need for the documents or its details to be revealed until the trial was over," he said, adding that disclosing it may affect the case.