Thursday November 1, 2012
Two Malaysians charged in Lebanon for alleged links to al-Qaeda militant group plead not guilty
PETALING JAYA: The two Malaysians who have been detained in Lebanon for alleged links to an al-Qaeda militant group pleaded not guilty at the Military Tribunal in Beirut.
A source in Beirut said both Muhamad Razin Sharhan Mustafa Kamal, 21, and Razif Mohd Ariff, 30, appeared separately and were read their charges and questioned by Judge Maroun Zakhour.
“They are being accused of being members of an armed organisation, with the intention of carrying out missions in Syria,” the source said.
Both Muhamad Razin and Razif pleaded not guilty yesterday. They were represented by lawyer Marwan Sinno.
According to the source, Muhamad Razin and Razif were asked several questions in the hearing which began at 5.30pm and ended at 8.30pm Malaysian time.
“The judge questioned them on their business in Lebanon and whether they had met several people believed to be linked with al-Qaeda,” said the source.
Muhamad Razin denied that he met any of the names mentioned and said he was a tourist in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Razif acknowledged that he had met several of the people, and admitted that he had previously been arrested in Yemen and was questioned by the special branch in Malaysia during the hearing.
Anifah said Razif was also asked if he had met with a senior member of Jemaah Islamiah group Yazid Sufaat in Malaysia and whether he had acted as a recruiter for al-Qaeda, to which he answered no.
Both men appeared to be in good health and answered the questions calmly.
They also said they were being treated well.
Razif was brought before the Military Tribunal first, in a session that lasted two hours.
Muhamad Razin was brought in later but was only questioned for half an hour.
Razif’s father was present but was denied entrance.
Anifah said the tribunal was expected to decide whether there would be a case against the two or otherwise as early as today or much later.