Wednesday, August 10

Police met with alleged leader of armed intruders in Lahad Datu, court told


KOTA KINABALU: Special Branch (SB) officers met with the alleged leader of a group of armed intruders at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu on Feb 14, 15 and 16, 2013, the High Court was told yesterday.

Sabah SB officer Inspector Ahmad Yusri Abu Bakar said police initially failed to meet with Datu Agbimuddin Kiram the following morning after the intrusion at Kg Tanduo.

Testifying as the prosecution’s 66th witness in the trial of 30 accused persons facing charges related to the Lahad Datu intrusion, he said he was tasked with arranging a suitable place for the meeting with the alleged leader.

“We reached Lahad Datu around 2 am on Feb 13, 2013 and I was left at Bandar Cenderawasih, Felda
Sahabat, while ACP Zulkifli Abd Aziz (then Sabah SB deputy chief) and SB officer ASP Zulhani Borhan proceeded to Kampung Tanduo.

“However, ACP Zulkifli and ASP Zulhani could not find their way to Kampung Tanduo,” he said.

To a question by deputy public prosecutor Jamil Aripin, he explained that Zulkifli and Zulhani had failed to find the villager who was supposed to show them the way.

Ahmad Yusri said the meeting with Datu Agbiumddin to discuss the intrusion was finally held at a house at Kampung Tanduo on Feb 14, 15 and 16, 2013.

“I only followed the negotiation team led by Zulkifli into the village on the last two days.

“My assignment was to gather as much information on the intruders based on observation at the village such as determining the number of armed intruders, their weapons, clothing and source of food.

“Apart from that, I carried and presented food supplies that we had brought for them,” he said.

In the dock are 27 Filipinos and three local residents who are facing one to multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group, waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, recruiting members for a terrorist group or wilfully harbouring individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group.

They allegedly committed the offences between Feb 12 and April 10, 2013.

The hearing before Justice Stephen Chung continues today at the Sabah Prisons Department. — Bernama