From Asia One/New Straits Times (May 15): Sabah stand-off: 10 charged with Lahad Datu intrusion
The nephew of Jamalul Kiram III was among 10 people charged at the High Court here yesterday with the Lahad Datu intrusion.
Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 49, and eight others were accused of waging war against the king and being a member of a terrorist group at the High Court, which presided at the Tawau Prisons Department.
A woman, Norhaida Ibnahi, was also accused of being a member of a terrorist group.
For the additional charge of waging war against the king, Amirbahar and the eight others -- Rijmal Salleh, Saidili Jaharul, Dani Ismail, Pabblo Alie, Mohamad Ali Ahmad, Basil Samiul, Rizman Gulan and Abdul Majil Jubin -- face the death penalty if convicted.
No plea was recorded from the 10, who were produced before High Court judge Ravinthran Paramaguru, who postponed the hearing to June 7.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail appeared for the prosecution assisted by Prosecution Division (policy) deputy head Datuk Nordin Hassan.
"We are looking into the possibility of holding joint trials but that will be carried out once we sort out the counsels representing the accused, among other things," said Gani.
In the hearing yesterday, Gani said he may apply to have the cases transferred to Kota Kinabalu.
Present yesterday was counsel James Tsai, who was appointed by the Philippine government to represent Filipino nationals accused of being involved in the intrusion, which began in Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu in February.
The intrusion escalated into an all-out military operation by Malaysian security forces centred on the Felda Sahabat area and had spread into several east coast districts, such as Semporna, Beluran, Kunak and Sandakan.
Apart from Tsai, several counsels were also present, including representatives from the Sabah Law Association, who held a watching brief, led by its president Datuk Gaanesh Nandy, Datuk John Sikayun, Syarulnizam Salleh and Ram Singh.
The number of people charged in the High Court in connection with the intrusion now stands at 30.
This includes a policeman, Corporal Hassan Ali Basari, who claimed trial after being accused of withholding information about terrorist activities.
He was charged under Section 130M of the Penal Code.
The trial for Hassan, who is represented by counsel Kamaruddin Mohmad Chinki, has been set for June 24 to June 28.
Of the 29 other suspects, five were represented by counsels while the rest were under Tsai, who is expected to apply for an ad hoc submission for International Criminal Court Counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan and assign counsels from the Sabah Law Association.
The activity included lectures and workshops on data gathering, basic documentation, and writing simple news article. They were also lectured on the history of Bangsamoro struggle, Government of the Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Aqeeda Islamiya (Islamic ideology).
The participants are chapter officers and members of Mindanao Women Advocacy on Good Governance (MWAGG) from Malungon, Malapatan, Kiamba and Maasim in Sarangani Province and City of General Santos.
Gandhi Kinjiyo, a Moro writer and peace advocate, handled the lecture-workshop on documentation, data gathering and writing straight news. He also related the history of the bangsamoro struggle.
Kinjiyo noted that Muslim organizations conduct many activities but it is often not published because there are very few who do the writing.
“I am thankful that you participate in this documentation and news writing workshop. I hope you will be able to make your own newsletter soon and we will also try to publish your write-ups in the internet,” the resource person said.
“It is very important that every activity you conduct should have documentation because it serves as evidence of your undertakings and it could also be shared as reference for any research works,” he stressed.
Kinjiyo also hinted the participants on how and when to take photos when covering an event and urged them to use digital voice recorder to capture precisely statements of the speakers for their documentation.
The FAB orientation was delivered in Maguindanaon dialect by Tommy Nawa, Sugoda Buayan Province Political Committee Secretary. He elaborated well the salient points of the initial peace agreement that was signed in Malacanang Palace on October 15, 2012.
He outlined the establishment of the Bangsamoro new Political Entity, the Basic law, the powers of the Bangsamoro, Wealth Sharing, Territory, Basic Rights, Transition and Implementation, and Normalization.
The two panels will sign a comprehensive peace agreement and implement it. Thereafter, an exit agreement will be signed if all the provisions of the peace agreement are implemented,” he said. He pointed out the crucial role of the International Peace Monitors who will evaluate if the two parties implement the peace agreement.
Nawa told the women leaders that for more than 390 years of Bangsamoro struggle, thousands of Mujaheedin (freedom fighters) have already perished leaving widows and orphans.
Ustadz Abdulsatar Alangan, Chair of the Dawah Committee in the area, discussed the Islamic faith. He began his lecture on relating the history of Islamization in the Philippines. He also focused on the importance of having fear to Allahu ta Ala and being obedient to what is ordained by the Almighty in the Holy Qur’an so that Muslims won’t be lost.
Ustadz Ebrahim Sandigan from the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) told the participants how important it is for all the Moro leaders of Mindanao regardless of fronts or factions to be united on their objectives for the Bangsamoro.
CBCS currently implements the Mindanao Solidarity Project with the goal to bring together the Moro leaders of Mindanao to have a common objective and move towards the realization of genuine peace and development in Southern Philippines.
The activity was realized through the efforts of MWAGG Chairperson Prof Naima Gumaga and regional head Saguira Gumander with their chapter officers and members. The CBCS was the major sponsor.
Kinjiyo and Nawa are staffs of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)-Southern Mindanao Regional Office. BDA implements development initiatives in conflict affected areas in Southern Philippines.