KUALA LUMPUR: Australia has reiterated that it has yet to receive any request to extradite convicted killer Sirul Azhar Umar from the Malaysian government.
Its Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was inappropriate for her to comment further on the matter, until such a request was made.
“As Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said recently, Malaysia has not made any extradition application, so it would be inappropriate for me to speculate … until such time as Malaysia made such application under the existing treaty between our two countries,” she told reporters after a courtesy call to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail here in Parliament on Wednesday.
Bishop is in Malaysia for a diplomatic visit from Tuesday to Thursday (July 31-Aug 2).
During the meeting between the two leaders, she discussed among other things Malaysia’s intention to consider abolishing the death penalty.
“This is the position that Australia has held for some time.
“We oppose the death penalty, both back home and abroad.
“In fact, we advocate strongly against the death penalty as we campaign for a seat in the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
“We are on the seat now, and the death penalty is one of our pillars of advocacy,” she said.
“That is the matter that we discuss, but I would like point out again that there has been no application for extradition in this particular case,” she added.
“Australia’s position as a matter of principle is that extradition cases takes into account whether or not the death penalty will be applied in the applying country,” she said.
Asked if the relationship between the two countries can go forward with the detainment of Sirul, she stressed that “he is in being held in an immigration detention and there has been no extradition application by the Malaysian government.”
Meanwhile Wan Azizah said the government would discuss the possibility of submitting a formal request for his extradition.
Together with his colleague Azilah Hadri, Sirul was convicted of Altantuya’s murder and sentenced to death in 2009.
The Court of Appeal overturned their death sentences in 2013, but it was reinstated by the Federal Court after the prosecution appealed.
However, Sirul fled to Australia and was detained by immigration officials in Sydney after Interpol issued a Red Notice for him.
He has been held at the Villawood Detention Camp in Sydney since 2015.
Source: The Star Online