Penang man becomes first Malaysian to be jailed for terror-financing offence

Shanti Gunaratnam

KUALA LUMPUR: A technician from Penang became the first man in Malaysia to be sent to prison by the High Court for a terror-financing offence.

Judge Datuk Paduka Azman Abdullah, in sentencing father-of-two Bukhori Che Noor to seven years jail, said the accused should have known better than to get involved with terror activities.

"You should have known better because you are 35-years-old and should know what is good or bad. The government is fighting the threat of Islamic State (IS) which is a new threat to the country, after communism in the early years.

"Anything related to terror is bad. What is it that you hope to get by getting involved in a terror-related offence? Do you want to go to heaven and do you want to help Islam?"

Bukhori pleaded guilty to providing financial services by allowing a bank account to be used for withdrawal and deposit purposes which benefited Syria-based militant Muhammad Wandy Mohamed Jedi.

He allegedly committed the offence at a Maybank branch in Jalan Chain Ferry between Nov 2015 and June 30, 2016. He was charged under Section 130O(1)(bb) of the Penal Code, which carries a minimum jail term of seven years and a maximum custodial sentence of 30 years.

Bukhori, who was unrepresented, in mitigating for a lenient sentence, told the court that he earned RM2,000 a month and had his wife and two children to support.

"I regret my actions and will never get involved in such activities again. I appeal to the court to impose a very lenient sentence for my offence."

Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Fadzlan Mohd Noor, who sought a deterrent custodial sentence for Bukhori, said the fact the accused had pleaded guilty should not be considered a mitigating factor.

"The court should take into consideration the seriousness of the offence and public interest. The IS terror group is a global threat."

Azman ordered Bukhori's jail term to start from his date-of-arrest, June 30, 2016.