KOTA KINABALU: Three more pleaded guilty at the High Court here today to offences linked to the armed intrusion at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, about three years ago.
Aiman Radie, 20, a Filipino, entered a plea of guilt on a charge of being a member of a terrorist group, an offence which carries life imprisonment and a fine.
The rest, locals Mohamad Ali Ahmad and Pabblo Alie, pleaded guilty to amended charges.
Mohamad Ali is charged with soliciting or giving support to a terrorist group, which carries life imprisonment or imprisonment not exceeding 30 years or with a fine, and liable to forfeiture of any property used or intended to be used in connection with the offence.
Pabblo faces imprisonment of up to 30 years and fine for soliciting property for the benefit of a terrorist group.
Justice Stephen Chung reserved sentencing at the end of the defence trial involving 14 accused.
During mitigation, Datuk N. Sivananthan, counsel for Aiman, said there was no evidence he (Aiman) was told to come to Sabah to be engaged in a war and that he would be promised a job if he did so.
"His confession is clear that participating in a war was never mentioned to the 14th accused (Aiman) or he would not have come to Kampung Tanduo," he said.
Mitigating for Mohamad Ali, 41, his counsel, Ram Singh asked the court not to condemn his client for supplying food to the armed intruders.
He noted that evidence during prosecution trial revealed that the security forces had also supplied food to the armed group when negotiations were held between the security forces and the intruders on Feb 14-16, 2013 at the village.
"I call this (security forces') act as 'sleeping with the enemy' and that is absolutely wrong and they had no excuse to do so.
"My client only supplied food and groceries to the group one time and that was before skirmishes between the intruders and the security forces," he said.
Counsel Putli Noor Asikan Datu Gulam, when mitigating for Pabblo, said her client, who would be 66 next Wednesday, was of Suluk origin and so, it was not unusual for him to be in a conversation with others about the intruders, who were of the Suluk race.
She also said as of April 10, 2013 when he was arrested, there was no more act of terrorism in Lahad Datu.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar said the court should place public interest first when passing sentence as the intrusion undermined and compromised the sovereignty of Malaysia as an independent nation.
He said the Malaysian citizens charged in the case should have been aware of their responsibility not to collaborate with the armed group that had intruded into Malaysia, which is also the home country of the Malaysian accused.
"The accused should have put the sovereignty and the interest of this country over other interests," he said.
Two other accused, a Malaysian and a Filipino, were also expected to enter a guilty plea today, but decided not to and will enter their defence.
The defence trial will proceed tomorrow at the Sabah Prison Department with 14 accused entering their defence.
Some of the accused are facing one to multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group and waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Some are alleged to have wilfully harboured individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group, or solicited or gave support to a terrorist group.
The offences were allegedly committed between Feb 12 and April 10, 2013. -- Bernama