THE sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Sunday called on the government to provide legal assistance to its 29 followers, including a nephew of Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd, who are facing trial in Malaysia for their intrusion into Sabah.
Abraham Idjirani, the sultanate’s spokesman, said Datu Amirbahar Kiram and the 28 other Filipinos pleaded not guilty during their arraignment.
Datu Amirbahar, Kiram’s nephew, was arraigned before the Malaysian High Court, for waging war against Malaysian King Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and for sheltering or recruiting individuals to become members of a terrorist group. The crimes are punishable by death and life imprisonment, respectively.
Also charged were Basad Samuel, Mohamad Ali Ahmad, Pabblo Allie, Abd Hadi Mawan, Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, Dani Ismail, Saidili Jaharul, Totoh Hismullah, Basil Samiul, Rizman Gulan, Abdul Majil Jubin, Rijmal Salleh, Julham Rashid, Tani Lahad Dahi, Al Wazir Osman, Virgilio Nemar Patulada, Masir Aidin, Anwar Salib Akhmad, Ismail Yasin, and Binhar Salib Akhmad.
Charged for lesser terrorism-related charges were Aman Radie, Timhar Hadir, Holland Kalbi, Lin Mad Salleh. Three more people were charged for harboring terrorists, including Norhaida Ibnahi, Kadir Uyung and Lating Tiong. Another accused—Salib Akhmad Emali—is facing all three charges and another case for allegedly recruiting individuals to become members of a supposed terror group.
Idjirani said the sultanate doubts if the accused were properly represented in what he called a “kangaroo trial.” The spokesman also lamented that neither the sultanate nor the Philippine government had been granted access to the detained Filipinos.
He likewise called on the Malaysian government to respect the human rights of the detained Filipinos and allow them to observe the Holy Month of Ramadan.
“We are hoping that the Malaysian government will give them enough space to observe the spirit of Ramadan,” Idjirani said.