KUALA LUMPUR, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 25th july, 2016) : A Malaysian court has convicted three locals and 14 Filipinos of terror-related offences, some punishable by death, following an armed incursion that left scores dead and paralysed a remote corner of Borneo for weeks, a lawyer said Monday. The 2013 siege, inspired by a self-proclaimed Filipino sultan who tried to resurrect long-dormant land claims, saw clashes between Malaysian forces and some 200 Filipino militants who had arrived by boat in the eastern state of Sabah on Borneo island.
The crisis embarrassed both Manila and Kuala Lumpur, shining a spotlight on the latter's porous border and locals' complaints of rampant illegal immigration and lawlessness. "Following today's high court conviction, nine of the Filipinos face an option of death sentence or life in prison. The court will make a decision on Tuesday," N. Sivananthan, counsel for the Filipino militants, told AFP. "I hope the nine will be spared the death sentence," he added. Sivananthan said among those found guilty was 53-year-old Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, the son of the late self-styled Sulu sultan Esmail Kiram. Esmail claimed to be the heir to the Islamic sultanate of Sulu, which once controlled parts of the southern Philippines and part of Borneo. A total of 29 people -- 26 Filipinos and three Malaysians -- went on trial, with 12 Filipinos acquitted.