Nine of the accused in the Lahad Datu intrusion case who were found guilty of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong escaped the gallows when they were sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court here today.
Judge Stephen Chung meted out the sentence on Filipinos Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 45; Basad H. Manuel, 41; Ismail Yasin, 76; Virgilio Nemar Patulada alias Mohammad Alam Patulada, 52; Salib Akhmad Emali, 63; Al Wazir Osman, 61; Tani Lahaddahi, 63; Julham Rashid, 69; and Datu Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, 53.
The capital punishment for the offence under Section 121 of the Penal Code was death.
In his judgment, Chung said there was no evidence that the accused were directly involved in the skirmishes that occurred during the intrusion, nor was there proof that they had killed any member of the security force in cold blood or injured anybody.
He noted that the key persons in the intrusion, such as Datu Agbimuddin Kiram and ‘General Musa’ were not brought to justice.
“It is indeed an odious task to pass the appropriate sentence for the accused convicted under Section 121 of the Penal Code.
“The offence had badly affected the lives of the residents of Kampung Tanduo and those who resided in the nearby villages, as well as the families of the deceased security personnel,” he said.
Chung also sentenced Salib Akhmad, Al Wazir, Tani, Julham and Datu Amir Bahar to 18 years’ jail each on a second charge of being members of a terrorist group, while the other four – Atik Hussin, Basad, Ismail and Virgilio – who pleaded guilty to the same offence each received 13 years imprisonment.
They were ordered to serve the jail sentences concurrently from their date of arrest.
Also convicted of being members of a terrorist group were Timhar Hadil, 39 and a local, Abd Hadi Mawan, 52, and they were sentenced to 15 years’ jail each to be served from the date of their arrest.
Chung said he considered the guilty plea of Filipinos Lin Mad Salleh, 50; Holland Kalbi, 50; and Aiman Radie, 20 for the same offence and sentenced them to 13 years’ jail each, to be served from the date of their arrest.
The offence of being a member of a terrorist group is framed under Section 130KA of the Penal Code which provides an imprisonment for life upon conviction.
Two other locals in the case who pleaded guilty to amended charges were each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment from the date of their arrest.
One of them, Pabblo Alie, 66 had pleaded guilty to soliciting property for the benefit of a terrorist group or for the commission of a terrorist act, an offence under Section 130G (c) of the Penal Code, which carries the maximum 30-year imprisonment upon conviction.
The other, Mohammad Ali Ahmad, 41 had also pleaded guilty to soliciting or giving support to a terrorist group, an offence under Section 130J (1) (a) of the Penal Code, which also carries the maximum 30-year imprisonment upon conviction. – Bernama