By Nur Adika Bujang
KOTA KINABALU: — A Semporna police volunteer was closely observed by a man carrying a gun scabbard when he brought his children to shop for school supplies, the High Court here heard today.
Semporna police volunteer chief, Sergeant Mohd Ghadafe Mohd Lipai said at about 10.45am on March 1, last year, after fetching his two children from school, he went to a shop in Semporna town.
As he and his children got out of the car parked in front of Kedai Umairah, he noticed a man, about 50 metres away to his right, staring at him, who was clad in police uniform.
“The shop was crowded. So, my children and I had to queue outside. Fifteen minutes went by when we finally entered the shop.
“During that 15 minutes, I saw the man on my right still looking at me. I looked to my left, but there was no one there,” he recalled.
Mohd Ghadafe said as he was leaving the shop, the suspicious man was only 30 metres away and walking slowly towards his car.
“I was shocked and quickly got my children into the car. When I started the engine, I reached for my handphone to call the Semporna police headquarters.
“As I was about to hold the handphone to my ear, I noticed there were two other men walking behind the man carrying the gun scabbard.”
Mohd Ghadafe said the man with the gun scabbard went to the left side of his car and peered in through the window, while the other two just walked by.
“When the man was peering into my car, the gun scabbard he was carrying slipped off his left shoulder and he bent down to pull it up. That was when I saw the whole of an M16 butt peering out of the bag.”
Mohd Ghadafe said the man then walked to the end of the row of shops, while he reversed his car out of the parking bay.
He said while reversing his car, the two other men appeared – one to the left of his car and another in front, while the man with the M16 scabbard was still at the end of the row of shops, staring at him.
As he drove off slowly, Mohd Ghadafe honked at the other man in front and waved his hand at him, who gave the police volunteer an angry look.
“That was when I saw he had a silver pistol on the right side of his waist and his hand was ready to reach for it,” Mohd Ghadafe said, adding that the man, however, did not take out his pistol.
Asked by DPP Ishak Mohd Yusoff if he was able to identify the men if he saw them, Mohd Ghadafe said he could only remember the man holding the gun scabbard and pointed to one of the accused, Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, who gave a big smile to the court when he stood up.
Datu Amirbahar is charged with waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an offence which carries the death sentence or life imprisonment, and with being a member of a terrorist group, an offence punishable with life imprisonment and a fine, upon conviction.
Thirty accused, comprising 27 Filipinos and three local residents, are being tried in the case, in which some are facing multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group or waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, recruiting members for a terrorist group or wilfully harbouring individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group.
They allegedly committed the offences between Feb 12 and April 10, last year.
The hearing before Justice Stephen Chung at the Sabah Prisons Department continues tomorrow.