25 years for Movida bombers

Judge says at­tack is the most se­ri­ous ter­ror-re­lated crime in Malaysia

New Straits Times - - Front Page - SHANTI GUNARATNAM KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

FOR their in­volve­ment in the Movida night­club grenade at­tack on June 28 last year, Is­lamic State sup­port­ers Imam Wahyudin Kar­jono, 21, and Jo­nius Ondie @ Ja­hali, 25, were each sen­tenced to 25 yearsʼ jail. Eight peo­ple were in­jured in the first-ever ter­ror bomb­ing car­ried out in the coun­try.

THEY were calm, re­morse­ful and no longer smil­ing when they were sen­tenced to 25 years’ jail by the High Court for bomb­ing the Movida nightspot in Pu­chong last year.

The two Is­lamic State sup­port­ers, who car­ried out the first ter­ror bomb­ing in Malaysia at the nightspot, were a stark con­trast to when they were first charged in the Pe­tal­ing Jaya courts on July 25 last year.

Wear­ing white skull­caps, and some­times turn­ing back to look at the pub­lic gallery to nod at a hand­ful of friends who had gath­ered, and oc­ca­sion­ally talk­ing to one an­other, Imam Wahyudin Kar­jono, 21, and Jo­nius Ondie @ Ja­hali, 25, looked re­morse­ful.

In sen­tenc­ing both men, judge Datuk Nordin Has­san said the bomb­ing caused chaos and in­juries, some se­ri­ous, to eight peo­ple who were at the nightspot.

Imam and Jo­nius were also sen­tenced to 10 years’ jail each for sup­port­ing ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties, af­ter they pleaded guilty.

Nordin or­dered the sen­tences to run con­cur­rently from the dates of their ar­rests. Imam was ar­rested on June 29 last year and Jo­nius on July 1 last year.

Fac­tory worker Imam and unem­ployed Jo­nius had been charged with sup­port­ing ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties for throw­ing a hand grenade and in­jur­ing eight peo­ple at the Movida pub in Pu­chong about 2am on June 28 last year.

Imam was also charged with spread­ing ter­ror ide­ol­ogy through the Tele­gram app at his home in C4-19, Block Chempaka, Jalan In­dah 1, Pu­chong In­dah, Pu­chong, be­tween March 25 and June 28 last year.

Jo­nius was also ac­cused of sup­port­ing ter­ror acts with the in­ten­tion to fur­ther an ide­ol­ogy to threaten the peo­ple of Malaysia via Tele­gram.

He al­legedly com­mit­ted the of­fence at a house in Jalan Sun­gai Con­dong 3, Ban­dar Ar­mada Pu­tra, Pu­lau In­dah here, be­tween March 25 and July 1 last year.

Lawyer Wan Azwan Ai­man Wan Fakhrud­din, who rep­re­sented Imam, said in mit­i­ga­tion that his client did not come from a priv­i­leged back­ground and shortly be­fore his ar­rest, he was sell­ing mo­bile phones and made RM500 monthly. When Imam was ar­rested, he was just 20 years old.

“Imam also failed all the sub­jects he sat for the Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia ex­am­i­na­tion. He was pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to his aged mother, who works as a cleaner at a pri­vate clinic.”

Im­me­di­ately af­ter Azwan had fin­ished, Imam told the court from the dock that he re­gret­ted his ac­tion, was re­morse­ful and would not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence again.

“I have my re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to­wards my fam­ily.”

Jo­nius’s lawyer, P.A. Sharon, told the court that her client had car­ried out the at­tack un­der the in­struc­tion of Malaysian IS mem­ber Muham­mad Wan­ndy Mo­hamed Jedi.

She said Wan­ndy brain­washed Jo­nius, and that her client could not dif­fer­en­ti­ate right from wrong.

“Jo­nius had only stud­ied up to Year Two and had con­verted to Is­lam in 2012 to have a sense of be­long­ing.

“He also en­rolled in a re­li­gious school in Ke­lan­tan, but dropped out as he could not af­ford to pay for his ed­u­ca­tion.

“Jo­nius, who did con­tract work in the Klang Val­ley to sup­port him­self, comes from a hum­ble back­ground and lost his fa­ther when he was only 4.”

Sharon said Jo­nius was the fourth of six chil­dren and had a dis­abled sib­ling. Life was hard for him and his fam­ily as they were poor.

Deputy pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor Sai­ful Edris Zain­ud­din, in re­quest­ing for de­ter­rent sen­tences, said the men had ini­tially pleaded guilty when they were charged in July last year, and had claimed trial and, yes­ter­day, they had de­cided to plead guilty again.

“They with­drew their plea of in­no­cence on the sec­ond day of trial, where eight wit­nesses were called to tes­tify.

“No le­niency should be given in sen­tenc­ing be­cause the men had changed their plea.

“The ac­cused should be given 25 years’ jail each for hurl­ing the hand grenade and 20 years’ jail each for sup­port­ing ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The jail terms should run con­sec­u­tively,” said Sai­ful.

In his judg­ment, Nordin said he had de­cided that a de­ter­rent sen­tence was needed.

“Out of the eight, some were se­ri­ously in­jured, some maimed, while oth­ers were hit by bomb shrap­nel.

“The act of throw­ing a hand grenade is a very se­ri­ous crime, and the bomb­ing of the Movida nightspot was, in fact, the most se­ri­ous ter­ror-re­lated crime in Malaysia.

“By im­pos­ing de­ter­rent sen­tences for the crimes com­mit­ted by the both of you, I am also send­ing a mes­sage to oth­ers, in­clud­ing your com­rades who want to con­tinue fight­ing for ter­ror,” he said. Page 1 pic: Po­lice­men es­cort­ing Jo­nius Ondie @ Ja­hali (sec­ond from right) and Imam Wahyudin Kar­jono (sec­ond from left) out of the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

FILE PIC

The Movida nightspot in Pu­chong, which was bombed on June 28 last year.

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