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No request yet to extradite Sirul: high commissioner

  • Andrew Goledzinowsk (L5) and other representatives from the Australian High Commission having a dialogue with senior management of Sin Chew Daily led by executive director and group CEO Francis Tiong (R5) at Sin Chew Daily headquarters in Petaling Jaya. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily
  • Goledzinowsk: Australia forbids the extradition of a condemned foreign convict who will face death at home. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

PETALING JAYA, May 23 (Sin Chew Daily) – Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowsk confirmed that the Malaysian government had yet to make a request to the Australian government to extradite Altantuya Shaariibuu's killer Sirul Azhar Umar.

However, he said the Sirul case would serve as a reference for future extradition of criminals.

Any country intending to bring back a condemned convict from Australia would have to prove that the said convict would not face death penalty upon his return.

Goledzinowsk said the Australian government's primary consideration was mandatory death for Sirul if he were to be repatriated to Malaysia.

He said in an exclusive interview during his visit to Sin Chew Daily yesterday that any extradition request made to the Australian government would have to comply with Australia's laws, whether death penalty -- including mandatory death -- would be abolished in Malaysia in future. There must be assurance that the extradited convict will not face penalty at home.

“If you really want to bring back Sirul, you must prove that mandatory death is no longer implemented, and that he will not face death when he gets back here.

“The Australian law forbids the extradition of a condemned foreign convict who will face death at home.

“Even if a request is made, the Australian government will still need time to handle the extradition request, as there are procedures to follow up.

“We won't extradite a convict who will face death upon his return.”

Bill to abolish mandatory death to be tabled July

The government's proposal to abolish death penalty last October met with powerful resistance from the public. Subsequently the cabinet agreed on March 29 this year to abolish only mandatory death penalty, with death penalty or life imprisonment on the court's discretion over murder, drug trafficking, firearms possession and offences against the Ruler.

Minister in the prime minister's department in charge of legal affairs Datuk Liew Vui Keong has said the bill to abolish mandatory death penalty would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in July.

There are currently 65,222 convicts serving their jail sentences in the country's prisons, including 1,281 condemned convicts, of whom 932 have been sentenced to death under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. Nearly 300 of the remaining 349 are murder convicts, with those convicted of kidnapping and firearms possession, etc. making up the rest.

The Prisons Department has yet to carry out any execution from 2014.

 

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