Jan 27, 2016, Kuala Lumpur – After 33 days of trial, the Public Prosecutor dropped its original charges against Yazid Sufaat and Hilmi Hasim. The charges were for promoting the commission of terrorist acts (maximum punishment: 30 years) and being members of a terrorist group (maximum punishment: life).
The decision to drop the charges came after the cross-examination of the prosecution’s star witness, Mohamad Razin Sharhan Mustapha Kamal, by counsel for Yazid and Hilmi, Amer Hamzah Arshad. Razin’s evidence was exculpatory of the accused persons.
The defence then made a representation that the charges be dropped. The prosecution agreed.
Instead, an alternative charge of omitting to give information relating to terrorist acts under section 130M of the Penal Code was preferred against Yazid and Hilmi. The offence is punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years.
Yazid and Hilmi pleaded guilty to the alternative charge.
After mitigation, the High Court Judge Dato’ Mohd Azman Husin sentenced them to 7 years from the date of their arrests.
“We have always maintained our innocence. The original charges against us are baseless and the use of SOSMA was an abuse of process. There was and is no evidence against us. We did not promote the commission of terrorist acts nor are we members of Tanzim Al-Qaeda,” said Yazid and Hilmi.
Yazid added that their families have suffered a great deal since their incarceration. “We are glad they have stuck with us through thick and thin. I even missed my daughter’s wedding. I could not be with my family when they needed me the most. We want this to end as soon as possible and move on with our lives,” he said.
“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the legal team who fought hard and well for us: Amer Hamzah Arshad, Wan Hidayati Nadirah, Farida Mohammad, New Sin Yew, Chan Yen Hui, Joshua Tay, Rachel Yap, Quratulain Atiqah and Sarah-Ann Yong Jenlee. They have been incredible and supported our legal defence to make the best out of this dreadful situation,” said Yazid.