Friday March 22, 2013
Lahad Datu: Filipino accused says he ‘foolishly’ took part in Sabah intrusion
TAWAU: A Filipino accused of being part of a terrorist group told the High Court here yesterday that he had been “foolish” and that he was “paid” to join a group of intruders which occupied a remote seaside village in Lahad Datu.
Holland Kalbi said he was asked by “someone” to be part of the terror group and was paid for it.
“I was just being foolish,” said Holland who was among eight Filipino nationals who were produced before Tawau High Court judge P. Ravinthran yesterday.
Kalbi said this through a Bajau court interpreter when asked by Justice Ravinthran whether he had anything to say about the proceedings.
Justice Ravinthran subsequently advised him that he should bring this to the attention of his lawyer that would be arranged for him if he did not have one of his own.
Kalbi is one of four Filipinos charged under Section 130K of the Penal Code for being a member of a terror group.
The others are Lin Mad Salleh, Habil Suhaili and Timhar Hadir. All four face life imprisonment upon conviction.
Another two fellow Filipino nationals Atik Hussein Abu Bakar and Basad H Manuel also face a similar charge as well as being accused of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Section 121 of the Penal Code that carries the death penalty.
The offences were alleged to have occurred between Feb 9 and March 3, 2013 at Kampung Tanduo or Kampung Tanjung Labian in Lahad Datu district.
Another two men Kadir Uyung and Lating Tiong also face life imprisonment after being charged under Section 511 of the Penal Code for harbouring a terrorist group.
Both were accused of committing the offence on March 4 near the General Operations Force post at Kampung Tanjung Labian.
No plea was recorded from the eight men following an application by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail who led the prosecution team.
Gani told the court that though only two of the accused faced charges that carried the death penalty, the prosecution would see that all eight would have legal representation in the interest of human rights.
He said he was in contact with the Sabah Law Association and the Bar Council over the matter.
He told the court that some of the accused would be jointly tried while there would be individual hearings for others as they were arrested at different places or time.
Police cordoned off the court house at Tawau town centre as early as 6.30am and the eight men were brought in an hour later.
At the start of the hearing, Justice Ravinthran granted Gani's application for the eight accused to be handcuffed or placed in straight jackets for security reasons.
Justice Ravinthran subsequently fixed April 12 for the cases to be mentioned.