Najib kidnap plotters acquittal overturned for trio

Najib kidnap plotters acquittal overturned for trio

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal of a trio by finding them guilty of plotting to kidnap former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak and several other Umno leaders. They were acquitted two years ago.

Ex-soldiers Nor Azmi Jalani and Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof along with Indonesian national Ali Saifuddin in their 30s had plotted to kidnap Najib, then Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and then Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

The evidence showed that they conspired with a militant, Abu Daud Murad Halimuddin, and had planned to demand ransom in exchange for the freedom of several detainees held under security laws.

Abu Daud was sentenced to 12 years’ jail after his case went to the Federal Court last year.

Today, a three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Vernon Ong Lam Keat allowed the prosecution’s appeal and delivered a unanimous decision.

“After going through the evidence of the three respondents, we find they did not create a doubt in the prosecution’s case,” Ong said.

He said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt even at the close of the defence’s case.

The trio, who were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 or Sosma, were charged with conspiring to promote terrorism-related activities in Malaysia between Jan 30 and April 6, 2015 at a house in Pengkalan Batu Hampar, Mukim Air Putih, Pendang.

The offence, punishable under Section 120B(1) of the Penal Code, carries a jail term of up to 30 years and a fine.

However, the bench deferred sentencing to April 14 following a request by counsel Syahredzan Johan to allow him more time to prepare his clients’ mitigation.

Jasmee Hameezah Jaafar, Mohd Zin Ibrahim and Azmi Mashud represented the government.

The trio were acquitted by judicial commissioner Ab Karim Ab Rahman, but they were not released pending an appeal by the prosecution.

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