KOTA KINABALU: A VAT69 commando told the High Court here Tuesday that it was not their responsibility to search and investigate areas that had been declared safe and free from intruders.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail asked VAT69 commando Deputy Supt Hakemal Hawari, during re-examination, if it was his (Hakemal) or his men’s duty or responsibility to check for spent calibres or weapons in the skirmish area, Hakemal said it was not.
"What is paramount is the safety of my team. We were trained in jungle and urban warfare and special skills such as sniping, combat diving and so on, but not in investigation," he said.
He also said that the VAT69 were trained to disarm people with any kind of weapons, but not to search an area when it had been declared safe.
Hakemal, who led a team of police commandos to comb Kampung Kg Tanduo and Kg Tanjung Batu during mopping-up operations between March 6 and 9, found no weapons on the bodies of the six men believed to be intruders that were killed by his men.
He said this at the High Court during the trial of 30 people involved in the Sulu intrusion into Lahad Datu in February last year,
"In Kg Tanduo, I did not notice weapons on any of the intruders killed after the aerial bombing which was conducted on March 5, 2013," he said before High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung on Tuesday.
The trial held at a hall declared as High Court at the state Prison Department in Kepayan continues Wednesday.