Lahad Datu trial: We were sitting ducks, says VAT 69 commando

KOTA KINABALU: A police VAT 69 commando said that he and his team were sitting ducks when they came eye to eye with Sulu intruders on the Kampung Tanduo beach last year.

Sjn Zulkifli Buang agreed with defence counsel Datuk N Sivanathan that he and his team would have been mowed down if the armed intruders opened fire on them during the encounter on March 1, 2013.

He also agreed with Sivanathan during cross-examination, that there was a chance that the intruders could have shot them when they encountered each other near the surau by the beach, as they (intruders) were in an advantageous position.

Zulkifli explained that when his superior Insp Rosmadi stepped forward to speak to one man, who seemed to be the leader of the armed men, saying "You go, I go", he (Zulkifli) noticed that it looked as if there were some people in some bushes near them.

Asked by Sivanathan does it mean that the intruders hiding in the bushes could have shot at them, Zulkifli replied "yes".

However, he disagreed with Sivanathan that the armed men were not "looking for a fight" because their weapons and firearms were pointed to the ground when both teams faced off.

Zulkifli, who was the 11th prosecution witness, was testifying for the second day in the trial of 29 men and a women involved in various offences linked to the intrusion in Lahad Datu in February 12 last year.

The Court, among others, heard Zulkifli testifying about his earlier role as an aerial photographer prior to the March 1 skirmish that lasted for about an hour. He took over 700 pictures.

He said his role for his team in the March 1 skirmish was to assist another team that got separated from their group, not long after gunshots were heard on other areas in Kampung Tanduo.

The trial, held in a hall declared as a High Court at the state prison in Kepayan on Tuesday chaired by Justice Stephen Chung, continues with a new witness on Wednesday.

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Courts , Crime , Lahad Datu intrusion , VAT 69


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