Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cop gets 7 years for withholding info - New Straits Times

07 August 2013| last updated at 12:34AM

 KOTA KINABALU:  A SPECIAL Branch policeman was jailed seven years for intentionally withholding information on terrorist activities linked to the Lahad Datu intrusion.

High Court judge Ravinthran Paramaguru said the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt against Corporal Hassan Ali Basari, who committed the offence in Lahad Datu between January and March 2 this year.

He said Hassan was legally bound as a policeman attached to the Special Branch unit to disclose any information about terrorist activities at the earliest opportunity, but he failed to do so.

"I have to waive personal interests against public interests. The condition applies to all Malaysians who come across information regarding terrorist acts regardless of their background.

"In this case, you are not a mere member of the public but a Special Branch personnel in Lahad Datu and you received the information while on duty. Therefore, you stand in a different category than anyone else. Thus, very little credit should be given to your length of service in the police force and health factors."

In mitigation, defence counsel Ram Singh said the accused just turned 61 last Friday, was a first-time offender and had served the force for 38 years. He said Hassan had health problems, including stroke, for which he had been taking medication since 2010.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Nordin Hassan, however, said the offence of intentional omission to inform his superiors had serious consequences, which saw members of the security forces injured and killed in the events that followed the Lahad Datu intrusion on Feb 12. He said the security forces could have been better prepared if they had the information Hassan that concealed.

Hassan hugged family members and kissed a toddler, believed to be his granddaughter, after the sentencing hearing.

Ram said they would file an appeal.

Corporal Hassan Ali Basari leaving the courtroom after his sentencing at the High Court in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. Pic by Edmund Samunting

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