A Malaysian court on Friday postponed the formal trial of the son of newly crowned Sultan of Sulu for his alleged role in the bloody standoff in Sabah.
According to Malaysian news agency Bernama, Datu Amilbahar Hussin Kiram, the Sabah-based son of new Sultan Esmail Kiram 2nd of the Sulu Sultanate will be tried on January 6 together with 26 other Filipinos.
High Court Justice Stephen Chung was originally set to hear the cases on November 1, but moved it to January next year following another appeal for postponement of the Malaysian lawyer of the 27 Filipino suspects,
The court had originally fixed an 11-day trial beginning September 17, which was also moved subsequently to November 1.
Datu Amilbahar and his co-accused had pleaded not guilty to charges of waging war against Malaysian King Yang di-Pertuan Agong and sheltering or recruiting individuals to become members of a terrorist group during their arraignment on June 27.
The young Kiram was said to have the rank of “general” in the Sulu Sultanate’s Royal Security Forces (RSF), and was charged with taking an active part in the intrusion.
According to sultanate’s spokesman Abraham Idjirani, they are monitoring the trial of Amilbahar and the 26 other Filipinos.
“The new sultan will be announcing next week his first Royal Decree and the Sulu Kingdom’s renewed policy on its continuing territorial claim over Sabah,” he added.
He said the matters on the trial of Amilbahar and the 26 other Filipinos will be part of the new decrees and the Kingdom’s policies.
Kiram 2nd has succeeded his elder brother Jamalul Kiram 3rd who died two weeks ago because of multiple organ failure.
Idjirani said they have been calling on the Philippine government to provide assistance to the detained Filipinos, whom he said are being tried illegally by the Malay-sian authorities.
The Malaysian court on May 15 sentenced to life imprisonment eight Filipinos for their supposed role in the Sa- bah standoff.
The Sabah conflict started on February 9 when 235 fighters of the Sultanate’s Royal Security Force sailed to Lahad Datu, Sabah to revive the sultanate’s claim over the disputed territory.