Seven years on, no one has paid the price for the death of Altantuya Shaariibuu. And no one knows why the pretty Mongolian was killed one night in October 2006.
But today's Court of Appeal decision does not close the file on her mysterious murder.
Instead, the ruling to acquit former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and former corporal Sirul Azhar Umar raises more questions than ever.She was shot dead and C4 explosives were allegedly used to blow her to bits but both police commandos said they had no access to the explosives. So what happened? Were there others involved?
Who killed her? Why?
She came into the country but there were no immigration records with her name. Did she use another passport? Can the authorities explain this?
Some of these questions could have been answered if the likes of DSP Musa Safri had been called to give evidence.
The prosecution did not call him and the appeal court today allowed the appeal because material witnesses were not called to testify, including Musa.
Musa would have been able to say what sort of help political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda had asked of him to fend off Altantuya.
The interpreter had become Abdul Razak's lover but later hounded him. He had to hire private investigator P. Balasubramaniam to keep watch on her. When Altantuya turned up that fateful night on October 19, 2006, the policemen took her away and that was the last time she was seen alive.
What followed rocked Malaysia's political establishment. Abdul Razak was held in connection with the murder and both police commandos Azilah and Sirul were later charged for Altantuya's murder.
Their connection to each other was simply Musa, who was aide-de-camp to then deputy prime minister and defence minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Now prime minister, Najib has denied any links to the case although Abdul Razak was closely associated with him. Will today's ruling provide closure for him too?
Will it also provide closure for Abdul Razak, who was the first to be acquitted of conspiring to kill Altantuya? He had admitted to fending her off but not asking for her death.
Interestingly, the prosecution never appealed his acquittal.
But the prosecution has said it would appeal today's ruling that freed Azilah and Sirul, both of whom were hooded and shielded from public view during their 159-day murder trial.
That again raises more questions. And endless possibilities. - August 23, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider