Model murder suspect admits affair

Malaysian analyst says victim tried to blackmail him after their relationship ended.

    Abdul Razak Baginda, a prominent Malaysian political analyst, is charged with abetting the murder [AP]

    There is no body for the grieving father to bury - Setev Shaariibuu only has fragments of bones with which to perform the final rites for his daughter.


    Altantuya Shariibuu was the victim of a murder that so far remains a mystery.


    She trained as a model in France and went on to become a successful businesswoman and a mother of two before Shariibuu was shot dead last November, and her body blown apart with explosives.


    Three people have been charged over the killing.


    Razak trial


    One, Abdul Razak Baginda, is a prominent political analyst who has close ties with Malaysia's ruling party and the country's deputy prime minister. He also had close ties to the victim.


    During a bail hearing, Razak admitted that he had a seven month affair with Shariibuu. His lawyer told the court Sharibuu tried to blackmail him after he ended the relationship.


    Razak is charged with abetting the murder.


    Also in the dock are two police officers charged with carrying out the killing and all three could be sentenced to death by hanging if convicted.


    Given Razak's political connections, the murder has become a talking point.


    Adding to the intrigue are the two police officers charged with the crime. They’re members of a special unit used to protect government leaders and the explosives they’re alleged to have used were of a type issued by the government.


    Why Sharibuu made this ill-fated trip to Malaysia and the details of the circumstances leading to her murder will only emerge at the trial. But what we do know is that her remains were found in the jungle on the outskirts of the capital.


    Emotions stirred


    Altatunya comes from a prominent family ... her father is a well known academic in Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital, and his students have launched protests calling for justice.


    The Mongolian parliament has a sent a letter to the Malaysian government demanding punishment for her killers.


    The parliament asks for a transparent case, so that there will be no political interference.


    Malaysia's prime minister has given his assurance that the trial will be fair.


    But Altantunya's supporters will have a long wait for justice - the trial is not due for another year.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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