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I was asked and paid, says accused

Posted on March 22, 2013, Friday

TIGHT SECURITY: Police personnel escorting one of the eight terrorists into a police truck after their trial in Tawau High Court yesterday. — Bernama photo

TIGHT SECURITY: Police personnel escorting one of the eight terrorists into a police truck after their trial in Tawau High Court yesterday. — Bernama photo

TAWAU:  The High Court here yesterday was told by one of the men charged with engaging in terrorism in Sabah that he was asked and paid to do so by someone.

Hooland Kalbi, who spoke in the Bajau language and translated by the court interpreter, said this in the trial of the eight Filipinos charged with the offence, including two of them who were also charged with waging a war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He also said he was foolish for doing so, but judge P Ravinthran told the court interpreter to explain to him (accused) that it was not necessary for him to say that as his plea would only be recorded after he had obtained a lawyer.

At yesterday’s proceeding, Ravinthran gave all the accused the opportunity to tell the court the charges made against them and also told the court interpreter to explain to the accused the punishment involved.

Hooland was among the eight Filipino charged in the High Court here today with engaging in terrorist activities in Sabah.

This is the second time that a charge for waging a war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is made in the country after an incident by the Al Maunah group at Bukit Jenalik Sauk, Perak, in 2000.

Meanwhile, Timhar Hadir, who is also charged with engaging in terrorism, told the court that he entered Malaysia last February using an international passport.

He was prevented from saying more by Ravinthran without consulting his lawyer.

Another accused charged with the same offence was Habil Suhaili, who took quite sometime to understand the charge made against him.

Habil, believed to be in his 60s, was not worn the straight jacket like the other accused.

The charge was read to him several times in Suluk.

Habil said he did not commit the offence, but was told by the judge that his plea would not be recorded.

The first accused, Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, who spoke in Bajau, sought the court to explain the charges made against him.

Besides being charged with engaging in terrorism, he is also charged with waging a war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The other four accused, Lin Mad Salleh, Basad Manuel, Kadir Uyung and Lating Tiong, said they had nothing to say.

Basad is charged with engaging in terrorism and waging a war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, while Lin is charged with engaging in terrorism.

Kadir and Lating are charged with protecting the terrorist group.

All the accused were not allowed bail.

Meanwhile, journalists and photographers covering the case were strictly monitored by armed policemen. Only one journalist from each media organisation is allowed into the court and they are only allowed to bring in their note book and pen.

No foreign journalist was seen covering the proceeding yesterday. — Bernama

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