Trio jailed for plotting to kidnap Najib, 3 other ex-ministers

Nor Azmi Jalani, Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof, and Indonesian Ali Saifuddin when they were acquitted in 2017. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today sentenced three men to between eight and 12 years’ jail over a charge of terrorism, including a plot to kidnap former prime minister Najib Razak.

Indonesian Ali Saifuddin, a technician with a Malaysian permanent resident status, was sentenced to 12 years jail, while the two Malaysians, Nor Azmi Jailani and Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof, were sentenced to eight years jail each.

A three-member panel comprising judges Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Zabidin Mohd Diah and Has Zanah Mehat ordered them to serve the sentences from the date of their arrest on April 5, 2015.

On April 8, the court found Ali, 31, Nor Azmi, 32 and Yusri, 32, guilty of conspiring to promote terrorism-related activities in Malaysia between Jan 30 and April 6, 2015 at a house in Pengkalan Batu Hampar, Mukim Air Putih, Pendang in Kedah.

The trio were said to have participated in a series of discussions with a son of a former Islamic State (IS) militant on plans to kidnap Najib, as well as former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein and former youth and sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

The son of a former Islamic State (IS) militant, Abu Daud Murad Halimmuddin, is serving a 12-year jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiring to promote terrorism, while his father, Murad Halimmuddin Hassan, was sentenced to 18 years jail.

It was reported that Murad Halimmuddin died in 2017.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Zain Ibrahim pressed for Ali, Nor Azmi, and Yusri to be sentenced to 25 years’ jail each, saying the offence was serious as their actions could have affected innocent people.

He said a deterrent jail sentence should be imposed to reflect the seriousness of the offence.

Defence counsels – Louis Liaw Vern Xien, Farida Mohammad and Quratulain Atiqah Norzahirul Anuar – pleaded for a lesser jail sentence, saying the trio did not play the main role in the plot.

Liaw said it was Abu Daud’s idea to initiate the plan to steal firearms and the kidnapping of government leaders.

He said the plan was not carried out and as such there was no loss of life and property.