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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lahad Datu Intrusion accused says he escaped to save own life

KOTA KINABALU - A Filipino accused in the Lahad Datu intrusion case told the High Court here today, he only had one chance to escape the armed intruders of Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, or face imminent death.

Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 45 said he could have run away from the armed group sooner but found it an impossible task as he was closely guarded by the intruders.

"In my heart, I told myself that I only had one chance (to escape). If the timing was wrong, I would be dead," he testified in the Bajau language which was translated by a court interpreter.

Atik Hussin entered his defence on a charge of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during an intrusion in 2013.

The accused said he arrived at Kampung Tanduo with the intruders in February 2013 but only managed to escape on March 1, 2013, following a skirmish between the armed group and security forces.

"That was my only chance to run away (on March 1, 2013) because they (armed intruders) were in chaos. They no longer guarded me," he said.

To a question by counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan, Atik Hussin said he had no other intention to come to Sabah except to look for a proper job.

He added that he did not realise the group he was with, was a terrorist group until he was charged in court.

Meanwhile, Timhar Hadil, 39, another Filipino accused in the case, said he had been appointed 'panglima' or 'general' for Tawau by the so-called Sultan of Sulu, Muedzul Lail T. Kiram.

He said his appointment by the self-proclaimed sultan was in appreciation of his skills in the karate martial art.

"He (Muedzul Lail) had asked me what I was good at and I told him that I have a black belt in karate. I had won a tournament in Tawau," he said in the Suluk language.

Thirteen Filipinos and a local man are entering their defence before Justice Stephen Chung at the Sabah Prison Department for various offences allegedly committed between Feb 12 and April 10, 2013.

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.

Others are alleged to have wilfully harboured individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group, or solicited or gave support to a terrorist group.

The hearing continues tomorrow.

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