Lahad Datu trial ends on July 26

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 21 Jun 2016

KOTA KINABALU: The 30-month trial of the 14 people accused of various offences linked to the 2013 Lahad Datu village intrusion will end on July 26.

High Court judge Justice Stephen Chung will deliver his judgment over two days on the fate of the 14 people, including a Malaysian.

Yesterday, he heard submissions from Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar and defence counsels Datuk N. Sivananthan and Abdul Ghani Zelika.

The charges against the 13 Filipino nationals came under Section 121 of the Penal Code for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Section 130E for recruiting persons to be members of a terrorist group.

The other charges were under Section 130K for harbouring persons committing terrorist acts and Section 130KA for being a member of a terrorist group.

The 13 are Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, Basad Manuel, Habil Suhaili, Timhar Hadil, Ismail Yasin, Virgilio Ne-Mar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, Basil Samuel, Salib Akhmad Emali, Al Wazir Osman @ Abdul, Tani Lahad Dahi, Julham Rashid, Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram and Norhaida Ibnahi, the sole female accused.

Habil died in April.

The Malaysian is Abdul Hadi Mawan, who is charged under Section 130KA.

All the charges were in connection with the armed intrusion of the seaside village of Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu in February 2013.

In his submission, Sivananthan argued that the evidence produced showed that there were grounds for the acquittal as there were doubts in the prosecution’s case.

He said there were discrepancies in the transcripts of the recorded telephone conversations.

Sivananthan, who represented the 13 Filipino nationals, said the prosecution also failed to link the telephones, allegedly used by some of the accused, by not producing the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of the devices.

He said confessions given by most of the accused to a Sessions Court judge soon after their arrest three years ago were consistent in that they were tricked into coming to Sabah during the intrusion led by Agbimuddin Kiram, the brother of the self-styled Sulu sultan.

“They were duped into coming with false promises of identity cards and jobs. When they realised something was amiss, they were prevented from leaving,” Sivananthan said.

Earlier, Mohd Dusuki told the court that the evidence showed that the accused knew what they were doing in Sabah.

He said the accused also played a role in facilitating the skirmishes with Malaysian security forces personnel in Tanduo and Semporna between February and March 2013.

“The accused claimed that they were cheated into coming to Sabah for a job and to get Malaysian documents, but their actions suggest that they know what they were here for,” Mohd Dusuki said.

Mohd Dusuki said no matter how minor the role they played in the intrusion, they nevertheless should be held responsible for the incident.

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