KUALA LUMPUR: Former police commando, Sirul Azhar Umar’s application for a protection visa is likely to be denied and now he may face indefinite detention in Australia.
Sirul fled the country to Australia in 2014 after being convicted of the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.
The Australian today reported that Sirul’s application would be denied on the grounds of committing a non-political crime before entering the country in October, three years ago.
It reported that Sirul has until Monday to offer any additional information that may sway the decision in his favour and allow him to be released into the community.
According to the report, a July 31 letter addressed to Sirul at Villawood Detention Centre said that the Immigration and Border Protection Department had received “unfavourable information which does not support your application”, related to his involvement in the murder of the Mongolian translator.
His indefinite detention may cost Australian taxpayers a multi-million dollar bill as the Australian government estimates the annual cost of detaining a single asylum seeker in their country at 239,000 Australian dollar (RM806747.75).
Sirul and former police commando Azilah Hadri were jointly convicted of Altantuya’s murder in 2009.
Sirul had fled for Australia after Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s decision in 2013.
However, on January 13, 2015, the Federal Court convicted Sirul and Azilah and sentenced them to death over the 2006 murder.
Sirul was absent during the apex court sentencing as he had already fled the country.
He was arrested by Australian immigration authorities and sent to Villawood in January 2015, after his conviction was reinstated, and has awaited a decision on his visa application since then.
Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the government could not negotiate with the Australian authorities to extradite Sirul as its laws will not deport a fugitive if he would face execution upon return.
The report also said that both Immigration and Border Protection and Sirul’s Australian lawyer, Christopher Levingston, refused to respond to questions the daily posed this week.