Dec 8, 2011 KOTA KINABALU: The chairman of the Islamic Welfare and Sermon Organisation of Malaysia, Sabah Chapter, Datu Mohd Akjan Datu Ali Muhammad, would have all his belongings which were seized by police over his alleged installation as ‘sultan of Sulu’, back after the Magistrate’s Court here granted his application yesterday.
Magistrate Nuruhuda Mohd Yusof allowed Mohd Akjan’s application, made through his counsel P.J Perira, after hearing oral submissions by the counsel as well as reply by the prosecution in open court proceedings.
Perira informed the court that he had initiated a criminal application to have some 32 items which were seized from Mohd Akjan’s residence in Likas eight months ago, to be returned to his client.
He further contended that on November 16 this year, he had served a copy of the notice of application together with an affidavit in support, to the City police chief (OCPD) and a similar copy extended to the deputy public prosecutor’s (DPP) office.
However, up to yesterday when the case came up for mention, there was still no reply from the DPP’s office.
Perira explained that the seizure of the items should have been made under Section 64 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), but instead they had wrongfully used Section 68 of the CPC for the seizure of all Mohd Akjan’s belongings.
“The seizure of the items was therefore null and void,” Perira pointed out.
He also said that on May 22 this year, his client had been unconditionally released from the Karamunsing police station after the police did not apply for an extension to his client’s seven days’ remand period.
“The police investigated the case under Section 130C of the Penal Code for committing terrorism acts, an offence which carries a jail term of between seven and 30 years, and also liable to a fine, upon conviction,” he explained.
In reply, the prosecution said that he was never informed of the matter but all he knew was that there was no issue of police investigation arising from the case.
He applied for an adjournment in order to inform this matter to the DPP’s office.
Among others, the items seized included Mohd Akjan’s coronation suit, several documents and cellphones.
Mohd Akjan was not present in court.
It was widely reported that Mohd Akjan was ceremonially installed as the 33rd reigning sultan of Sulu on February 2 this year, when he took the oath of allegiance in a private ceremony at Kampung Likas here.
It was said that the ceremony was witnessed by a group of 60 people, including senior officials of the so-called Sulu sultanate from the Sulu Province in Southern Philippines.
Following the installation, Mohd Akjan assumed the title Paduka Maulana Al-Sultan Sharif Ali Muhammad Pulalun or Sultan Hashim Shariful-II.
The unilateral proclamation by Mohd Akjan as sultan had provoked storms of disapproval by certain parties to prompt an immediate investigation to be carried out.
- The majority of Sabahans had expressed worry that Mohd Akjan’s action to declare himself sultan of Sulu on Malaysian soil would have serious security implications to the state and country.
- Some viewed Mohd Akjan’s self-styled coronation in Sabah as a challenge to the state and an insult to the King and the Head of State.
- While others were concerned that the event might have been misinterpreted by foreigners from The Philippines as an encouragement for them to enter Sabah illegally.