Sentencing on five put off

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 May 2005

TARAKAN (EAST KALIMANTAN): Clad in casual wear and sandals, five Malaysians, including a Datuk, arrived at a court here hoping to have a decision on charges of illegally entering Indonesia two months ago. 

As it turned out, they would have to wait longer.  

The sentencing by a panel of three judges, headed by Chief Justice R. Potongloan, was put off due to the court’s heavy workload. 

Approached later, Potongloan said he might decide on the fate of former native chief Datuk Malili Mali, 63, politician Harman Muhamad, 48, and his driver Musa Jaafar, 33, telecommunications company staff Akil Hamarudin, 51, and Dawan Tasau, 33, on Thursday. 

“We have many cases to hear. Today alone, there are 50 cases,” said Potongloan, pointing to the packed police lock-up beside the courthouse.  

The five, who arrived at the court from the prison at 10.30am yesterday accompanied by Malaysian police liaison officer in Tarakan Asst Supt Wan Badrul Hamid Wan Mohamad, had pleaded guilty to illegal entry charges last week.  

Sentencing was fixed for yesterday. 

Except for Harman, the others face a maximum five-year jail term and fine of 30mil rupiah (RM15,000), for illegally entering Indonesia via Pulau Sebatik on March 18 without valid travel documents, which is an offence under Section 53 of the Indonesian Penal Code. 

Harman, who held a Malaysian passport, faces a maximum sentence of three years and 30mil rupiah fine, for illegally entering Indonesia without an immigration visitor’s permit. 

The five were taken back to prison a short distance away as relatives kept inquiring about their sentencing. 

On May 10, Zaidi Harris, 29, from Johor and Misbah Basuroh, 29, from Sabah, had also pleaded guilty to illegally entering Indonesia through Tarakan on March 11.  

Their case is still pending and in the meantime they remain in Indonesian police custody.  

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