KOTA KINABALU: Evidence of a retired Special Branch senior officer was crucial in the Lahad Datu intrusion trial, the High Court here heard today.
Legal officer of the Sabah police contingent DSP Ang Seow Aun said he was not sure how important ACP Zulkifli Abdul Aziz’s testimony was in the case, but he personally felt that the former SB officer’s evidence should be heard.
“ACP Zulkifli was the assistant head of Sabah SB, who served in Sabah for a long period and has specific knowledge on the Sulu sultanate as well as personal contacts in southern Philippines to know all that is happening there.
“It can be said that for the past 15 years, all kidnapping cases in Sabah were dealt by him in terms of intelligence information,” he said.
Ang said this under cross examination by counsel Ram Singh at the trial of 30 individuals linked to the intrusion by Sulu gunmen at Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu in February 2013.
To a question by the counsel, the witness, who was head of the Lahad Datu criminal investigation division during the incident, said he was not sure how Zulkifli was spending his retirement.
Ram: Do you agree with me that the former ACP Zulkifli acts as a security advisor to the Sabah chief minister?
Ang: I am not sure.
Ram: Do you agree with me that he acts as the security advisor to the Sabah chief minister relating to matters on the Sulu sultanate?
Ang: I am not sure.
The police officer said during the course of his investigation on the intrusion case, he had referred to Zulkifli for clarification on seized
documents related to the Sulu sultanate.
“Do you agree that the best person to testify on the documents in this trial is the former ACP Zulkifli?” asked Ram to which Ang replied: “Yes”.
During re-examination by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusoff, the witness said he had discussed with the prosecution on whether to make his personal sources in the case as protected witnesses in the trial, but decided against it for fear of their lives.
Ang said he trusted the information he obtained from his sources, whom he had known for more than two years during his service in Lahad Datu.
In the dock are 27 Filipinos and three local residents who are facing one to multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group and waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
They are also alleged to have recruited members for a terrorist group or willfully harboured individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group.
The offences were allegedly committed between Feb 12 and April 10, 2013. The hearing, before Justice Stephen Chung at the Sabah Prison Department, continues tomorrow.- BERNAMA