Will Sirul Escape the Death Penalty?
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Malaysia is in the midst of putting together a formal request to Australia for the extradition of convicted murderer Sirul Azhar. He and his co-accused were recently sentenced to death for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu when the Federal Court overturned their earlier acquittal. Sirul, who failed to turn up in court, later surfaced in Australia. While Malaysia has an extradition treaty with Australia, the latter's extradition laws prohibit individuals from being sent back to face the death penalty. To secure Sirul's return, the Malaysian government would have to pledge to not carry out the death sentence. This would result in an injustice to his co-accused, who is subjected to the original sentence. Could these complications result in a legal limbo with Sirul free to leave Australia to a country where he is not at risk of extradition? We speak to an international law expert on Australian extradition law.
Melisa Idris contributed to this report.
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