Saturday, February 23, 2008

Razak baginda... pity you

SHAH ALAM: Just what triggered an outburst from political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda in court yesterday?

This was the question on the minds of those present at the High Court for the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial.The drama started before proceedings began in the morning when Razak’s father, Datuk Abdullah Malim Baginda, whispered something to his son who was in the dock.Razak’s demeanour changed and he stood up and walked back to the holding cell as proceedings had not yet begun.He turned, faced his father angrily and shouted: “Shall I shout it out?”

His father pointed his finger at him and indicated no.Razak did not let up: “I’m innocent! I’m innocent,” he said loudly before going into the cell.He did not look his normal, self-assured and smiling self when he returned to the dock minutes later for the start of yesterday’s proceedings.But just as those present in court thought that the side-show was over, Razak started again after trial judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin adjourned proceedings for lunch.His father went up to him and again whispered something into his ears. Razak jumped up from his seat and in an animated way shouted: “Oh no, oh no.”He then kicked the dock gate angrily as he walked out, stunning the court room into silence. It did not end there.

He then banged on the lock-up door and looked terribly upset. He was also in tears. Those present, including family members and reporters, were taken aback to see Razak’s unprecedented behaviour in court since the trial began in June. Abdullah also appeared stunned but stood silently. A family member of co-accused, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, then approached Razak’s mother, Datin Rohana Abdullah, urging her to pacify her son. Rohana, who was seated in the public gallery, quickly walked to the lock-up to calm Razak. By then Razak’s counsel Wong Kian Kheong, who had left the court room earlier, returned upon been informed of his client’s outburst, and went straight into the lock-up. Wong refused to say what Razak’s outburst was about.

Proceedings, meanwhile, were not disrupted.Celcom Malaysia Berhad’s core network operations general manager Nik Kamarudin Nik Ka, the 64th witness, was still on the stand.He has been testifying from Monday as the prosecution wanted him to clarify the disrepancies in Azilah’s mobile phone call details record and his itemised bill.

Zaki told Nik Kamarudin that his testimony would have only taken 30 minutes if the witness had been systematic in presenting the records from the two documents.“The records are not in order and the mobile phone numbers, which is in small print, has caused me a headache,” he said.Azilah, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37 , both members of the Special Action Squad, are charged with Altantuya’s murder at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor between 10pm on Oct 19, and 1am on Oct 20 , 2006. Razak, 48, is charged with abetting them.Hearing was adjourned to Monday.