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Judicial CP - September 1999

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 3 September 1999

Two men lose appeal on bombs

By Ignatius Stephen

Two men who entered Brunei armed with bombs with the power of a hand grenade will stay in jail, Brunei High Court has ordered.

They will also get a whipping.

Justice Steven Chong in upholding the sentence said that it was necessary to take a serious view of such offences because of the potential threat to public security.

The court upheld their sentence of five years and three strokes of the rattan in dismissing their appeal.

The saga of the two men, Abu Bakar bin Maulana and Reyoh Gaji, both southern Filipinos from Labuan, began when they entered into Brunei waters in a boat on the morning of June 6 this year.

As a result of information from the public the police arrested the two in Kampong Ayer.

They were found in unlawful possession of two cans of explosives, which they admitted that they brought from Labuan.

According to the expert report, these were homemade devices.

Nonetheless, the construction of the devices suggested that they were made by someone with considerable experience and were capable of being detonated.

Each can contained ANFO, an easily manufactured explosive, with the equivalent explosive effect of a grenade, the court remarked.

The court had taken into consideration their pleas of guilty, expressions of regret, and that the explosives were intended for fishing.

They were appealing against their sentences.

Their pleas that the devices were intended for fishing adds little in the way of mitigation, the court remarked.

The long term environmental destruction to the natural habitat of marine life by the use of such an indiscriminate method of fishing is well documented and must be discouraged, the court said.

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