KOTA KINABALU: A senior police VAT69 Commando officer told the High Court that there were no shoot-to-kill orders during their standoff with the Sulu gunmen at Kampung Tanduo about a year ago.
Deputy Supt Abdul Rani Alias told justice Stephen Chung that after arriving at Felda Sahabat 16 in Lahad Datu on Feb 22, 2013, his orders were mainly to divide into groups and carry out close reconnaissance at their assigned locations.
To a question by defence counsel Datuk N Sivanathan, Abdul Rani said he never received any order to capture nor kill the armed intruders prior to the March 1 shootout.
“We were only allowed to shoot in self-defence,” he explained during the trial of 30 people accused of various offences in connection with the Sulu gunmen intrusion in Lahad Datu and Semporna in February and March last year.
Abdul Rani said he and his teammates moved to the area where they heard gunshots and after proceeding 200m were shot at from various directions.
Earlier the High Court was also told of the dropping of leaflets on three separate occasions over the remote coastal village of Kampung Tanduo as part of efforts to convince the gunmen to surrender.
The Sulu interpreter at the trial explained that the first leaflet that was air dropped into the village on Feb 25 contained the words “SafePassage” advice written on it.
It advised the armed intruders to rethink their actions, think about their families back home in the Philippines and to surrender before it was too late.
There was also a sentence telling the intruders to hide and bury their weapons, bring the piece of leaflet to security forces and they would be guaranteed a safe journey home.
Asked by Sivanathan if this meant that anyone producing the leaflet to Malaysian security forces would not be shot at, Abdul Rani replied “yes”.
Abdul Rani said he had no knowledge about the final warning letter which was air dropped into the village on Feb 27.
The trial continues tomorrow.