KOTA KINABALU: A former police sergeant was among four Indonesians sentenced to a 10-year jail for trying to slip into Jolo Island in Southern Philippines via Sabah waters to commit terrorism acts last year.
The four – Suhantok Shahir, 31; Juhedi Jaya, 35; Muhammad Saripudin Ahmad, 38; and Ali Abdulloh Narawi, 31, pleaded guilty to the charges against them before High Court judge Justice Dr Alwi Abdul Wahab here Thursday (Oct 4).
They pleaded guilty to being nabbed inside a boat at Tanjung Aru sea in Sandakan on Dec 4, 2017, at 11.50pm for trying to travel to Pulau Jolo, Philippines through Sabah waters with intentions to commit a terrorist act there.
Justice Alwi said looking at the seriousness of the crime, he felt that a 10-year imprisonment was fair after taking into account the mitigation from the defence counsel and prosecutors.
He ordered the accused to serve their jail sentence for the date of their arrest and to be referred to their country of origin after completing their term here.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Mohd Izhanuddin Alias told the court that investigations by security officials found that the four were Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF).
He said they had entered Sabah illegally via back routes and all had no valid travel documents.
During mitigation, counsel Farazwin Haxdy who was appointed by the Kota Kinabalu Indonesian Consulate office to represent all the accused, asked for a short custodial sentence on her clients.
She said none of the accused were found with weapons when they were arrested.
“All they had on them were clothes and some money,” she said.
Farazwin said her clients were on their way to Jolo to give humanitarian aid and not carry out any terrorism acts.
She also stressed that her clients never took any oath to join any terrorist groups.
Farazwin urged the court to consider the accused’s plea of guilty and that all of them are married and had children in Indonesia.