KUALA LUMPUR: Two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel and an Indonesian national were acquitted by the High Court today on charges of promoting terrorism.
Judicial Commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman ruled that there was reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case against the two RMAF men, Nor Azmi Jailani and Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof, and the Indonesian, Ali Saifuddin.
Upon hearing the judge’s decision, the trio’s family members, who were present, shed tears of joy – but their happiness was premature.
DPP Nordin Ismail applied to the court to further detain them under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act or Sosma pending the prosecution’s appeal, which the court granted.
In his oral judgment, JC Ab Karim said the trio’s testimonies contradicted that of prosecution witness Abu Daud Murad.
“Abu Daud and the three accused admitted to having a meeting to plan terrorism acts such as kidnapping politicians in exchange for other Sosma detainees’ freedom and stealing firearms, as well as to fight in Syria.
“However, the three accused in their sworn statements said that although a meeting took place, they said they had never planned on committing any of the wrongdoings alleged,” the judge said.
The trio were represented by lawyers Syahredzan Johan, Louis Liaw, Farida Mohammad, Kamarul Arifin Mohd Waha and Bakhtiar Roslan.
Syahredzan said another co-accused with the trio, a tahfiz assistant from Kedah, Hadharami Hashim, was acquitted earlier this year on the promoting terrorism charge at the end of the prosecution’s case.
The four, along with former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Murad Halimmuddin Hassan and Murad’s son, Abu Daud, were charged in May 2015 at the Alor Setar Sessions Court for promoting acts of terrorism.
The father and son had in June the same year pleaded guilty to charges of promoting and supporting terrorist activities.
Murad was jailed for 18 years while Abu Daud was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
It had been previously reported that Murad passed away on Oct 21 last year due to heart complications.
Murad was first detained on April 5, 2015 by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division for involvement with the Islamic State (IS).
It was reported that Murad’s IS cell was planning to launch attacks in several strategic locations and had also planned to kidnap a few leaders, including the prime minister.