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KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Bar is dissatisfied with the reason given by Attorney–General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail for changing the prosecution team handling the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.
Gani had said it was done in the interest of justice as
deputy public prosecutor Salehuddin Saidin had been seen playing badminton with
trial judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin.
The KL Bar’s Criminal Practice Committee chairman N. Sivananthan said it was public knowledge, as early as January this year, that Salehuddin and Zaki were part of a group that regularly played the game.
"In my view, this is an inadequate explanation," he said.
Sivananthan said newspapers had reported that Salehuddin and Zaki were present at a club when a group member, judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Said Ahmad, collapsed after a game of badminton.
Wahab died soon after on Jan 7.
Sivananthan said Abdul Gani would have known about Salehuddin’s association with Zaki much earlier and not last Thursday as reported by Bernama.
He said Abdul Gani’s decision implied that his officers could not engage in public activities with lawyers and judges.
Abdul Gani had told Bernama he decided to withdraw Salehuddin from leading the prosecution team due to the sensitivity of the case. Salehuddin was replaced by Tun Majid Tun Hamzah.
The trial, supposed to have started on Monday was adjourned as Tun Majid had to study the case documents.
On trial are Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 30, and Corporal Sirul Azhar, 35, both members of the police Special Action Squad, and political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 47.
The first two are charged with the murder of 28–year–old Altantuya in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am on Oct 20 last year, while Razak is charged with abetting them.
The remains of Altantuya’s body, blown up with explosives, were found on Nov 7.