SIRUL FACES INDEFINITE DETENTION IN AUSTRALIA
Ex-police commando’s protection visa bid likely to be denied, says report
FORMER police commando Sirul Azhar Umar’s application for a protection visa is likely to be denied and he faces indefinite detention in Australia.
Sirul fled the country to Australia in 2014 after being convicted, along with former police commando Azilah Hadri, of the 2006 murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.
The Australian yesterday reported that Sirul’s application would be denied on the grounds of committing a non-political crime before entering the country in October, three years ago.
It reported that Sirul has until Monday to offer any additional information that may sway the deci- sion in his favour and allow him to be released into the community.
According to the report, a July 31 letter addressed to Sirul at Villawood Detention Centre said that the Immigration and Border Protection Department had received “unfavourable information which does not support your application”, related to his involvement in the murder of the Mongolian translator.
His indefinite detention may cost Australian taxpayers a multi-million dollar bill as the Australian government estimates the annual cost of detaining a single asylum seeker in their country at A$239,000 (RM806,000).
Sirul and Azilah were jointly convicted in 2009 of Altantuya’s murder.
Sirul had fled for Australia after the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s decision in 2013.
However, on Jan 13, 2015, the Federal Court restored the conviction and sentenced the duo to death over the murder.
Sirul was absent during the apex court sentencing as he had already fled the country.
He was arrested by Australian immigration authorities and sent to Villawood in January 2015, after his conviction was reinstated, and has awaited a decision on his visa application since then.
Last month, Depu ty Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the government could not negotiate with the Australian authorities to extradite Sirul as its laws would not deport a fugitive if he would face execution upon return.
The report also said that both Immigration and Border Protection and Sirul’s Australian lawyer, Christopher Levingston, refused to respond to questions the daily posed this week.
Sirul Azhar Umar