Thursday, March 10, 2016

No guns on boat, Lahad Datu accused tells court

A Filipino accused in the Lahad Datu intrusion case did not see any firearm in the boat that he sailed in from Bungao, in the Philippines, to Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, the High Court was told today. However, Basad H. Manuel, 41, said he saw something that looked like the butt of a rifle in the boat and did not find it unusual if there were firearms in the boat during the sea journey. "There were times when pirates would rob (at sea)," he explained in the Bajau language, whose testimony was translated by a court interpreter. Basad was entering his defence on a charge of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during an armed intrusion at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu in 2013. He told the court that he came to Sabah with 70 to 100 people on a boat after being promised an office job and a Malaysian identity card by a man known as "Edie". He said Edie claimed there was an invitation from the Malaysian government offering jobs in Sabah for the Filipinos in his village. Basad said he had a degree in computer studies, but was not able to get a job in his country as he had no contacts in either the government or the private sector. "That was why I was attracted to accept Edie's offer. Furthermore, he said the place would be a nice place to work," he said. However, he disagreed with deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, who prosecuted, that Edie wanted to recruit people to join the intrusion in Sabah. Basad said he did not ask Edie about obtaining proper documents to work in Sabah as Edie told him that the Malaysian government would make the necessary arrangements. Thirteen Filipinos and a local man are entering their defence before Justice Stephen Chung at the Sabah Prison Department for various offences allegedly committed between February 12 and April 10, 2013. Some of the accused are facing one to multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group and waging war against the Agong. Others 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 hearing continues on April 4. – Bernama, March 11, 2016.]]>

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