KOTA KINABALU: Nineteen people facing multiple charges for the 2013 Lahad Datu intrusion, including treason which carries the death sentence, were ordered to enter their defence in the High Court here today.
High Court Judge Stephen Chung who made the ruling also acquitted 11 others, all Filipinos, to be deported to their country of origin.
The proceeding held at the state Prison Headquarters under tight security took about 40 minutes.
Chung said the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the 19 and fixed Feb 22 for them to enter their defence.
The charges were framed under the Penal Code to be read with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.
These include Section 130 KA for being members of a terrorist group, Section 121 for waging war against the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Section 130 J for supporting the acts of terrorists and Section 130 G for soliciting property as commission for terrorist acts.
Since the trial began on Jan 6 in 2014 until Jan 5, a total of 166 witnesses were produced.
The prosecution was led by Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar while a majority of the Filipinos were defended by Datuk N Sivananthan who was appointed by the Philippine government.
Also in the list were Abdul Hadi Mawan who was defended by counsel Abdul Gani Zelika, Pabblo Alie by Putli Noor Asikin Datu Gulam, and Mohamad Ali Ahmad by Kamarudin Mohamad Chinki and Ram Singh.