After a fourth week of testimony, concerns are growing in Kuala Lumpur that a series of prosecutorial setbacks and allegations of political influence are endangering the case against the three men charged with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. The 28-year-old Mongolian translator was killed on October 18 last year and has since become the grim centerpiece of one of the most controversial criminal cases in Malaysian history. The case, spectacular enough on its own as a tale of love gone horribly wrong, is tinged with overtones of the possible involvement of political figures at the very top of the national power structure. A jet-setting beauty and mother of two, Altantuya had flown to Malaysia to confront Abdul Razak Baginda, the of a local political think tank, to demand as much as US$500,000 from him after he had jilted her following a whirlwind romance in Hong Kong, Paris and other cities, during which he had already given her tens of thousands of US dollars.

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