Soldier changes plea and claims trial

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 25 Mar 2003

KOTA TINGGI: One of the four soldiers who had pleaded guilty on Saturday to smuggling in 55 illegal immigrants changed his plea yesterday. 

OFF TO JAIL: Two of the four soldiers on their way to prison after being sentenced in Kota Tinggi Monday.

Jefry Abdul Hamid, 32, Ahmad Zamri Sardam, 30, Mohd Asri Abdul Abdul Razak, 31, and Johari Ridzwan @ Radzwan, 29, from the 10th Royal Malay Regiment based in Majidee Camp had initially pleaded guilty to trafficking in illegal immigrants. 

They were arrested about 12.40am on March 19 near an oil palm plantation in Jalan Kota Tinggi-Kulai by a team of policemen. 

Yesterday, Jefry’s counsel G. Subramaniam Nair said his client had asked for a trial. 

He added that Jefry was not given access to legal counsel and his rights were not upheld. 

Magistrate Amran Jantan then imposed bail of RM20,000 in one surety on Jefry, who is with the army’s workshop in Tebrau Camp. 

The court will decide on April 4 on his change of plea. 

The magistrate sentenced Ahmad Zamri, Mohd Asri and Johari to a year’s jail and a fine of RM10,000 for each illegal immigrant they had smuggled in, in default 10 days' jail per person. 

He also ordered that each of them be given two strokes of the rotan. 

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