Go To Trial, Says Federal Court To Two Men Charged With Abbeting In Terrorist Activities

PUTRAJAYA, July 16 (Bernama) -- The Federal Court today ordered former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat and cafetaria helper Muhammad Hilmi Hasim to face trial over charges of promoting and abetting in terrorist activities in Syria.

This followed the decision of a five-member panel of the court led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria to dismiss the application by Yazid and Muhammad Hilmi's bid to strike out the case.

The panel also comprised Justices Tan Sri Raus Sharif, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar and Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.

In the judgment, Justice Arifin said there were no defects in the charges, and the issue of whether Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) was the right procedural law was still alive and the objections could be raised at any stage in the trial.

Arifin also said it was premature to appeal against the matter, as it should first be ventilated before the trial judge at the High Court.

At the end of the proceedings, the judges allowed counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad's, representing Yazid and Muhammad Hilmi, request for the accused to meet with their families in the court.

On May 20 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur acquitted and discharged Yazid, Muhammad Hilmi and Halimah Hussin after allowing their application to have the charges against them struck out.

High Court Judge Kamardin Hashim ruled that the Sosma could not be used against them, as it was ultra vires Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.

He had said the charge was related to terrorism occurring in Syria and therefore, it was not under the scope of Article 149 and Sosma could not be used as a procedure to prove the charge against Yazid, 49, Muhammad Hilmi, 33, and Halimah, 52.

Yazid, a cafeteria operator at the Jalan Duta Court Complex, was charged with promoting an ideology intended to incite the people of Syria to commit terrorist acts while his friend Halimah and Muhammad Hilmi were charged with abetting him.

They were charged with committing the offences at a house in Taman Bukit Ampang between Aug 1 and Oct 20, 2012. Yazid was charged under Section 130G(a) of the Penal Code (Act 574) while Halimah and Muhammad Hilmi were charged under Section 109, both of which carry sentences of up to 30 years in prison and fine, upon conviction.

But on June 18, last year, the Court of Appeal ordered Yazid and Muhammad Hilmi to go back to the High Court to face the charges after allowing the prosecution's appeal to set aside their acquittal on the charges.


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