9 Filipinos get life terms over armed in­cur­sion

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A MALAYSIAN court sen­tenced nine Filipinos to life in prison yes­ter­day over an armed in­cur­sion in 2013 that left scores dead and paralysed a re­mote cor­ner of Bor­neo for weeks, a de­fence lawyer said.

Eight oth­ers, in­clud­ing three Malaysians, re­ceived prison sen­tences rang­ing from 10 to 18 years, said the at­tor­ney, N. Si­vanan­than.

The bloody in­cur­sion by some 200 Is­lamic mil­i­tants from the south­ern Philip­pines was in­spired by a self-pro­claimed Filipino sul­tanate’s claims of his­tor­i­cal do­min­ion over the Malaysian state of Sabah on Bor­neo is­land.

The as­sault, the most se­ri­ous se­cu­rity cri­sis faced by Malaysia in years, led to a siege be­tween the mil­i­tants and Malaysian armed forces sent to root them out.

At least 70 peo­ple were killed, mostly mil­i­tants, over the six-week ordeal.

Nine of the de­fen­dants had faced death for “wag­ing war” against Malaysia’s king, but were spared by the court in the Sabah state cap­i­tal Kota Kinabalu.

“They could have been sen­tenced to death but the judge de­cided on the lower penalty be­cause there was no ev­i­dence they pulled the trig­gers or com­mit­ted any murders,” Mr Si­vanan­than said.

The oth­ers had faced var­i­ous ter­ror­ism-re­lated charges.

Ear­lier, 12 other Filipinos had been ac­quit­ted.

Among those sen­tenced to life was 53-year-old Amir Ba­har Hushin Ki­ram, son of self-styled Sulu sul­tan Es­mail Ki­ram. –

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