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New Straits Time 03 April 2001

All 19 to enter defence
'Prosecution has proven Al-Ma'unah men involved in pursuing objectives'
By Rosnazura Idrus

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. - The High Court today ordered all 19 Al-Ma'unah members, including leader Mohd Amin Mohd Razali, to enter their defence on a charge of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Judge Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, in making the decision, said the prosecution had succeeded in proving via witnesses and circumstantial evidence that all accused were directly or indirectly involved in pursuing the group's objective of toppling the present Government.

All the accused, except for Mohd Amin, chose to enter their defence by giving sworn evidence from the witness box.

Mohd Amin chose to remain silent. His counsel, Karpal Singh, said however that he would still be calling Mohd Amin's witnesses.

Zulkefli then directed Karpal Singh to call Mohd Amin's witnesses tomorrow with the rest of the accused taking the stand accordingly.

Mohd Amin and the 18 Al-Ma'unah members are charged with waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at three places in Perak:

- 2nd Military Post, Kuala Rui,

- Camp 304, Grik, and

- Bukit Jenalik, Sauk, between June and July 6 last year.

The 18 accused are Zahit Muslim, Jamaludin Darus, Ibrahim Dris, Jemari Jusoh, Kamarudin Mustafa, Abdul Ghani Ali Ahmad, Idris Anas, Mohamad Faudzi Hassan, Nasaruddin Mohd Jailani, Ahmad Sarkawi Sulong, Zainal Mohd Jailani, Mohd Zaini Mohd Zainal, Mohd Ramly Mahmood, Che Sabri Che Jaafar, Mohd Bukhari Ismail, Suhaimi Hasbullah, Md Amin Othman and Yunus Hussain.

The charge under section 121 of the Penal Code is punishable with death or life imprisonment with a fine.

There were initially 29 group members charged with the offence on Aug 8 last year.

This was reduced to 19 after 10 of them pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of making preparations to wag war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Zulkefli, in his judgment, said the group's objective was to topple the Government by means of violence and war. He added that the group's struggle was based on the concept of 'jihad' (holy war) to set up an Islamic Government.

He said their main objective could be inferred from their acts and from exhibits such as documents and books on combat strategies and 'jihad' found in Bukit Jenalik.

"The collection of weapons and that each of the accused was in control of at least a weapon, that there were exchange of fire between the group and the security forces, the shouts of "Allahu Akbar" following gun shots showed that the group members realised what they were doing and what was going on at Bukit Jenalik," he said.

He said the prosecution had succeeded in proving the two stages in waging war - the preparation stage and the act of waging war.

He said the preparation stage was seen in the accumulation of army fatigues, the collection of vehicles - three Pajeros, the renting of a house in Kati, Kuala Kangsar, where the painting of the three Pajeros was carried out, the purchase of 87 double-blade swords, the arms heist at the 2nd Military Post and Camp 304 and the making of Bukit Jenalik as its base camp.

As for the act of waging war, Zulkefli said it could be seen from the torture and the killing of hostages captured in Bukit Jenalik, attacks on the security forces at the hill and attacks on several breweries and a temple in Selangor.

He said it was unnecessary for the court to distinguish whether an accused was a leader or a mere follower in an offence under section 121.

He said it was enough if it could be proven that the accused knew or had knowledge about the intention to wage war.

He was also of the opinion that for an accused to get involved in the offence, he need not have joined in from the beginning as the accused could have joined in at any stage of the offence.


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