PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's highest court on Monday (Jan 15) upheld the death sentence for nine Filipino men charged with waging war against the Malaysian King during the 2013 assault on Lahad Datu in Sabah.
Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif said the decision of the five-man panel of the Federal Court was unanimous.
Chief Justice Md Raus said the panelagreed with the Court of Appeal that the death sentence was the most appropriate based on the findings of the facts of the case.
The other judges were Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjun, and Justices Ramly Ali and Azahar Mohamed.
The nine men are Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 65; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42; Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman @ Abdul, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77.
Basad Manuel is the son of the late Jamalul Kiram, the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu. The bloody incursion by some 200 Islamist militants from the southern Philippines in February 2013 was inspired by the supposed sultan's claims of historical dominion over Sabah.
The two-month seige was the most serious security crisis faced by Malaysia in years, involving armed conflict between the militants and the Malaysian armed forces sent to root them out.
The panel on Monday also dismissed the prosecution's appeal against the acquittal of 14 men on the charge of waging war against the King and terrorist-related offences linked to the intrusion from Feb 12 to April 10, 2013.
Chief Justice Md Raus said the panel has no reason to decide otherwise and affirmed the decision by the Court of Appeal delivered last June.