A Malaysian former police officer convicted of killing a young woman in a scandal linked to the country's disgraced ex-leader offered Saturday to reveal who ordered the grisly slaying in exchange for a full pardon, a media report said.
Sirul Azhar Umar, now in Australian custody after fleeing Malaysia in 2015, has maintained that he was ordered by ‘important people’ to murder the Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, in 2006.
Altantuya was killed and her body blown up with military-grade explosives.
Her murder was the most shocking aspect in a scandal involving allegations that an associate of recently ousted premier Najib Razak arranged huge kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines in 2002.
Sirul told online news outlet Malaysiakini in an interview Saturday that he was ready to assist Malaysia's new government in the Scorpene case, a potential major breakthrough in a scandal suppressed by Najib's government.
‘I am willing to assist the new government to tell what actually transpired provided that the government grants me (a) full pardon,’ Malaysiakini quoted him saying.
Sirul disappeared into Australian immigration custody after fleeing there shortly after losing a final appeal in Malaysia.
The news outlet did not say how the interview was conducted.
Sirul, 45, said that his police work, which included providing security for top officials like Najib, would sometimes involve killing, but only when ordered.
‘I do it for the country, as all is done under orders. That is how the unit works,’ he told Malaysiakini.
But he said his trial was mismanaged, with key witnesses not called.
A coalition of opposition parties scored a stunning upset victory in May 9 elections, ousting a regime that had ruled for six decades but which faced mounting anger over corruption, misrule and repression under Najib.
Najib is currently barred from the leaving the country as authorities investigate separate allegations that he oversaw the plundering of vast sums from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
He is expected to face charges in that case.
Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was jailed by Najib in 2015, was released last week and quickly called for a retrial for Sirul and his police accomplice Azilah Hadri, who is on death row in Malaysia, seeking a pardon.