6, including foreigners, to stand trial for illegal possession of 1,308 tortoises

KRISTY INUS

KOTA KINABALU: The sessions court here has fixed April 5 and 6 as trial dates for six men accused of possessing 1,308 tortoises without a valid permit.

Judge Ainul Mohamed Shahrin said the prosecution team succeeded in proving a prima facie case against all the accused, despite several technical issues.

Ibrahim Kahal, 44, Rashed Delan, 38, Alsadat Belog, 39, Madal Juldin, 37, Sidik Napaeh, 23 and Rasid Alain, 38, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the offence committed on Dec 7 on a boat headed for nearby Pulau Mengalum.

Rashed and Alsadat are locals, while the other four are Filipinos.

Rashed, Alsadat as well as Ibrahim, who is an IMM13 holder, had previously been granted bail of RM20,000 each, with RM10,000 to be deposited.

They are charged under Section 41 (2) of the 1997 Wildlife Conservation Enactment, which was read together with Section 41 (1) of the same Enactment, which provide for punishment according to Section 34 of the Penal Code.

Each could be fined a minimum of RM30,000 and a maximum of RM100,000, or receive between six months’ and three years’ imprisonment.