TAWAU, March 21 – The eight Filipino men who were charged in the High Court here today for alleged involvement in the terrorist incursion in Lahad Datu will be assigned lawyers to defend them, said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
“This is in the interest of justice and on humanitarian grounds. Hence, why I requested of the court not to record their plea today,” he said.
He said the Attorney-General’s Chambers would contact the Philippine embassy tomorrow on engaging lawyers to represent them considering the gravity of the charges.
Two of the accused are facing the death penalty under Section 121 of the Penal Code for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The rest are facing up to 30 years’ imprisonment under Section 130KA of the Penal Code for terrorism.
“There is a provision for legal representation in Section 121 so the government can assign lawyers through the court for the two accused.
“Although Section 130KA does not carry the death sentence, I have given an assurance to the court that I would obtain legal representation for them,” he told a media conference at the Tawau police headquarters here today.
He said he would also discuss with the Sabah Law Association (SLA) for assistance.
According to him, Bar Council president Christopher Leong had responded positively when he contacted him yesterday morning about providing legal counsel.
“But the SLA is the legal representative here, so I will leave it to decide,” he said. – Bernama