Two locals and eight Filipinos were charged with various terrorist offences in a closed High Court proceeding at the Tawau prison today.
Among them was a local woman who faces a possible life imprisonment upon conviction of harbouring a group of terrorists.
Norhaida Ibnahi, 46, was charged under Section 130K of the Penal Code with harbouring a group of terrorists between February 9 and March 22 at an unnumbered house in Kampung Sri Melor, Bugaya, Semporna.
He was alleged to have committed both the offences at Jalan Lihak-Lihak, Semporna between February 9 and March 13.
The Filipinos faced the same two charges as Abdul Majil. No plea was recorded however from all eight accused.
Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, the nephew of terrorist leader Jamalul Kiram, Rijmal Salleh, Saidili Jaharul, Dani Ismail, Pabblo Alie, Mohamad Ali Ahmad, Basil Samiul and Rizman Gulan were charged with allegedly
committing the offences between February 9 and April 10 at Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu; Kampung Muanad, Beluran and Jalan Lihak-Lihak, Semporna.
They were charged with waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Section 121 of the Penal Code which carries the death sentence or life imprisonment, and Section 130KA for being members of a terrorist group which is punishable by life imprisonment and fine, upon conviction.
After the proceeding, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail told reporters that another case against 14 Filipinos and a local man Abd Hadi Mawan, 49, was heard today before Judge P. Ravinthran.
No plea was recorded and the judge had fixed June 7 for remention, he added.
He said the judge would also decide if the accused are to be tried jointly or separately on that day.
Meanwhile, lawyer Datuk John Sikayun who was holding a watching brief for the Filipinos, said that the prosecution had applied to transfer the case to the Kota Kinabalu High Court and a lawyer would be present on June 7 either appointed by the accused themselves or the Filipino Embassy.
The accused who were earlier charged with waging war on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong were Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, Basad Manuel, Masir Aidin, Ismail Yasin, Anwar Salib Akhmad, Binhar Salib Akhmad, Virgilio Nemar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, Salib Akhmad Emali, Wazir Osman@Abdul, Abd Hadi Mawan, Tani Lahad Dahi and Julham Rashid.
They were charged with being members of a terrorist group with Aiman Radie, Lin Mad Salleh, Holland Kalbi, Habil Suhaili and Timhar Hadir.
Two others, Kadir Uyung and Lating Tiong were charged with harbouring a group of terrorists while Salib Akhmad faced an additional charge of recruiting for the group.
So far, 29 individuals have been charged with various terrorism offences, 26 of them Filipinos and the rest locals.
There were charged at the specially convened Magistrates Court at the Lahad Datu, Semporna and Beluran police headquarters.
Meanwhile, deputy public prosecutor Datuk Nordin Hassan informed Bernama that today’s proceedings had to be transferred from the Tawau High Court to the prison due to security factors.
The prison compound was tightly cordoned off by heavily armed security forces.