Malaysian cop accused of hiding terror info

She faces up to 7 years' jail for not informing police about suspect leaving for Syria in 2014

A man believed to be member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) being detained by the Malaysian police.
A man believed to be member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) being detained by the Malaysian police.PHOTO: THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR • The High Court in Kuala Lumpur has ordered a policewoman to enter a defence on a charge of intentionally hiding information related to terrorist activities from the authorities.

The policewoman in question, Corporal Jusninawati Abdul Gani, 35, had knowledge of terrorist activities, a fact established by the prosecution, who proved that she was in the know about a suspicious individual leaving for Syria on Nov 12, 2014, reported Bernama news agency.

However, Jusninawati, who is attached to the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters, did not provide that information, nor subsequent information that she came across, to the police.

She has now been charged with intentional omission of information relating to terrorist acts at the police headquarters between August 2015 and March this year.

"The police's role is to maintain peace and uphold the law. This is clear that as a member of the police force, the accused is bound by law to inform such information to the authorities," observed High Court Judicial Commissioner Datuk Nordin Hassan at yesterday's hearing of the charges.

He subsequently set Nov 10 for Jusninawati to enter her defence.

She has been charged under Section 130M of the Penal Code and faces imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine, or both if found guilty.

Deputy public prosecutor Ezrene Zakariah is the prosecutor in the case. Jusninawati was represented by lawyers Nik Zarith Nik Moustpha and Adi Zulkarnain Zulkafli.

It is not the first incident where Malaysian security personnel have been accused of aiding and abetting terror activities.

According to Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, armed forces personnel suspected to be involved with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) make up 1 per cent of the militants in the country identified by the authorities so far.

Mr Hishammuddin, who was speaking to reporters after launching the 40th Pacific Armies Management Seminar on Monday, did not reveal the exact number of soldiers who have been identified.

In another revelation, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Wednesday that officers of the Eastern Sabah Security Command may have leaked vital information to the Abu Sayyaf terror group in the Philippines, allowing them to launch kidnap-for-ransom attacks in the waters off Sabah.

"We believe money obtained from kidnappings is then channelled to Katibah Nusantara to strengthen its position in South-east Asia and to finance terror activities," he said in reference to a group of Indonesian and Malaysian ISIS-affiliated fighters.

Malaysia's battle against terror heightened last year after it was revealed that national leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Razak, were being targeted.

In April last year, Malaysia enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which gives the authorities the power to detain suspects without trial for two years. In all, 240 suspected terrorists have been detained in Malaysia since late 2013.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2016, with the headline 'Malaysian cop accused of hiding terror info'. Print Edition | Subscribe