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Appeals court maintains 16 years jail on Indonesians for gang robbery on Thai vessel

17 Jan 2020 / 16:29 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Ten Indonesians who pleaded guilty to committing gang robbery in an oil tanker in the waters off Terengganu in three years ago, had their 16 years jail term and five strokes of rotan maintained by the Court of Appeal.

The three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the appeals brought by nine men who sought to lower their jail sentences.

He said the appeals filed by the nine men did not have merit.

The nine were Anne Raja, Arsito Mohd Hardi, Kreston Muhaling, La Abu, Bram Ali, Lurther Marnis Zachawerus, Badiun, Meidy Hermanus Wajongkare and Rollan Kapahese.

In the case of another man, Oktemi Supri, the court had allowed the prosecution’s appeal to reinstate the Terengganu Sessions Court’s decision in sentencing him to 16 years jail term and five strokes of rotan.

The prosecution appealed against the High Court’s decision which lowered Oktemi’s jail term to 12 years jail and five strokes of rotan.

The other two judges presiding on the bench were Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail dan Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

The 10 men aged between 34 and 62 had pleaded guilty at the sessions court to a charge with three others still at large, committed gang robbery on MT MGT-1 belonging to Thai-based Marine Global Transport, when armed with knives and swords and machete, causing losses and fear to 14 crew onboard.

The offence was committed in the waters off Terengganu at 8.30pm on Sept 6, 2017.

Except for Arsito, the other men were each given five strokes of rotan.

In 2018, the Terengganu High Court upheld the sentence of the nine men but reduced the jail term of Oktemi. The court maintained the number of whippings.

Deputy public prosecutors Allan Suman Pillai and Ku Hayati Ku Haron appeared for the prosecution while lawyer Mohd Shahir Mat Jusoh represented Anne and Arsito. Lawyer Horley Issacs appeared for the other seven men while Oktemi was represented by lawyer Yasin Aminuddin Anwar.

At the onset of the proceeding, Issacs informed the court that the appellants were misled to plead guilty to the charge on the promise they would be sent back to Indonesia after two or three weeks.

He said they also did not understand the nature and consequence of the offence as they were not provided with an Indonesian interpreter.

However, Justice Hamid Sultan told the lawyer that the Indonesians may file review applications that their plea was taken in breach of procedures. — Bernama

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