LAHAD DATU , April 1 – Seven more Filipino men from the southern Philippines have been charged in the Magistrate’s Court here with waging war against the Yang Dipertuan Agong and involvement in terrorism.
No plea were recorded from the men aged between 20 and 63 when the charges were read to them, first in Bahasa Melayu and then in Bajau and Suluk by an interpreter before Lahad Datu Sessions Court Judge Rajalingam a/l S.S.Maniam who acted as Magistrate at a makeshift court at the district police headquarters today.
Five of them are facing two charges, of waging war against the Yang DiPertuan Agong, under Section 121 of the Penal Code which carries the death penalty upon conviction, and joining a terrorist group, under Section 130KA of the Penal Code, which carries a life sentence and liable to a fine upon conviction.
One accused is facing four charges, under Section 121, 130KA and Section 130E of the Penal Code for recruiting terrorists or participating in terrorism, which carries a maximum 30 years’ jail and liable to a fine upon conviction.
He is also alleged on the fourth charge to have harboured terrorists, under Section 130K of the Penal Code which carries a life sentence and liable to a fine, or a maximum 20 years’ jail and liable to a fine upon conviction.
Another accused is facing one charge under Section 130KA of the Penal Code.
The prosecution was led by Sabah Prosecution Unit chief Jamil Aripin and Lahad Datu Deputy Public Prosecutor Datu Shukor Abu Bakar.
The court also allowed the prosecution’s request under Section 177A(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code to transfer the case to the Tawau High Court.
However, no date was fixed for mention.
Meanwhile, a police corporal was charged in the same court with intentionally refraining from disclosing information on terrorist acts, under Section 130M of the Penal Code which carries a maximum seven years’ jail or a fine or both upon conviction.
A total of 16 people have been charged with terrorism-related acts. On March 20, eight were charged under Section 121 and Section 130KA. The case has been fixed for re-mention at the Tawau High Court on April 12.
During the proceedings, the court would likely be briefed on the outcome of discussions among the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Sabah Law Association, Malaysian Bar Council and Philippine Government pertaining to legal representation for the accused persons. – Bernama