Three plead not guilty to torching church

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KUALA LUMPUR: Two brothers and their friend were charged in the Sessions Court here yesterday with burning a church early this month.Raja Mohamad Faizal Raja Ibrahim, 24, his brother, Raja Mohamad Idzham, 22, and Azuwan Shah Ahmad, 23, pleaded not guilty.

They are alleged, together with several others still at large, to have caused mischief by burning the Metro Tabernacle Church at No.28, Jalan 4/4c, Desa Melawati, here at 11.50pm on Jan 7.

The trio, who work as dispatch riders, were charged under Section 436 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine if found guilty.

Judge SM Komathy Suppiah set bail at RM20,000 with one surety for all three but they had to only deposit RM10,000.

Judge Komathy set March 12 for mention to allow all three accused to appoint lawyers.

During the court proceeding, Raja Mohamad Faizal was seen to be in pain as his face and body were badly burnt and his trousers had several blood stains.

On his brother’s left arm there were burn marks and it was swollen, while Azuwan had no burns. All three looked weak and bewildered.

Deputy public prosecutor Anselm Charles Fernandis earlier had asked the court to set bail at RM20,000 for each person as the offence was a serious one and of public interest.

Raja Mohamad Faizal asked for bail to be reduced as his family was poor and could not come up with the amount while Azuwan asked for bail to be set at RM5,000. — Bernama