I believe I am man enough to admit that I am wrong and I was really surprised that the 2-man personal police security detail of Najib, chief inspector Azilah Hadri and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar (photo) has been found guilty of the grisly murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaaribu some time in October 2006. I had expected them to go free since there was no clear motive for the murder and they never knew the victim from Eve. It was also never established whether the two had acted on their own or were directed to act by someone else. But this morning, Shah Alam High Court judge Mohd Zaki found them guilty and sentenced them to death since "the prosecution has successfully proven its case against both accused beyond any reasonable doubt" based on the circumstantial evidence that had been adduced.
But then again, this is not the end of the story since both men will be appealing to higher courts. Lawyer Karpal Singh, who was holding a watching brief for the Altantuya family, has said the battle is not over as he had filed for a judicial review to compel the prosecution to file an appeal against the acquittal of Najib's pal Razak Baginda, the dead woman's former lover. (Read the Malaysiakini report, here).
Another big surprise is the inclusion of Mukhriz Mahathir, the losing contender in the recent fight for the post of UMNO Youth chief, as a deputy minister in Najib's nondescript new cabinet which was also announced this afternoon. This must be a tight slap in the face of Khairy Jamaludin, the new youth chief, who has been left out in the cold amidst talk of the revival of 'Mahathirism' in the BN government.
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