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Monday, February 22, 2016

13 in Lahad Datu intrusion case want to plead guilty

KOTA KINABALU - Thirteen of 19 accused who were earlier ordered to enter their defence on charges linked to the Lahad Datu intrusion conveyed to the High Court here today that they wanted to plead guilty.

With the latest development, justice Stephen Chung who had fixed the defence trial for three weeks commencing today, adjourned proceedings to tomorrow during which the court is expected to take and record the guilty plea.

Lawyers representing the 13 have requested to meet their clients to prepare their mitigation.

The charges against the four of the 13 accused including three local men were amended on Feb 5.

On Feb 5, Chung ordered 19 of 30 accused in the case to enter their defence after finding that the prosecution had established a prima facie case over 239 days of trial that began on Jan 6, 2014.

Some of the accused are facing one to multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group and waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Some are alleged to have wilfully harboured individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group; solicited or gave support to a terrorist group; and solicited financial aid for a terrorist group.

The offences were allegedly committed between Feb 12 and April 10, 2013.

The prosecution led by deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar and assisted by DPP Datuk Jamil Aripin, had produced 166 witnesses in the consolidated hearing held at the Sabah Prison Department.

The Filipinos were represented by a team of lawyers led by Datuk N. Sivananthan who was appointed by the Philippine government.

Two of the local accused were represented by counsel Abdul Gani Zelika and Putli Noor Asikin Datu Gulam.

The third local accused was represented by a team of lawyers led by Kamaruddin Mohamad Chinki and Ram Singh. – Bernama

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