File photo of ex-policemen Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar (heads covered). The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on August 23, 2013 overturned their conviction of murdering Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — Security for Sirul Azhar Umar, who is currently detained in Sydney, has been increased amid concern for the life of the ex-police commando convicted of killing Altantuya Shaariibuu, The Australian reported.

The Australian news site reported yesterday that senior Australian Border Force officials were personally vetting all visitors to Sirul, who is being held alone in a room at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney, subjecting them to full security screenings and running their names through the government’s intelligence holdings.

Sirul reportedly recanted previous allegations in videos released in recent weeks, including that 28-year-old Altantuya was pregnant at the time of her death. 

The Australian reported that Australian officials believed the videos were shot before Sirul arrived at Villawood in January last year.

The Federal Court reversed last year the 2013 acquittal of Sirul and another former police commando, Azilah Hadri, over the high-profile 2006 murder of Altantuya, sentencing the two men to death.

Sirul fled to Australia before the Federal Court reinstated the guilty verdict.

Australia has an extradition treaty with Malaysia, but its laws forbid its authorities from sending a person to another country to face a death penalty unless it gets an undertaking against the person’s execution.

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