A cendol seller was sentenced to 16 years in prison by the High Court yesterday after being found guilty of nine charges including possessing and distributing items related to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group four years ago.
Judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin meted out the sentence against Nahzatulazran A Rahman, 42, after finding that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the case.
The court ordered Nahzatulazran to serve the jail term from his date of arrest on Sept 10, 2017.
For each of the three counts of supporting IS, Nahzatulazran was sentenced to 10 years’ jail, to be served concurrently, while for two counts of possessing IS-related items, the court sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment, also to be served concurrently.
On each of the four counts of distributing terrorist-related items, the court sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment to be served concurrently.
However, the court ruled that the sentences for the three groups of charges should be carried out separately, meaning the accused will spend a total of 16 years in jail.
Nahzatulazran was accused of supporting and promoting the IS group by possessing and distributing items such as flags with inscriptions as well as photos and videos of the group.
The offences were allegedly committed at several locations including the village area in Melaka Tengah and a house in Kepong between January and September 2017.
Deputy public prosecutors Rohaiza Abd Rahman and Mohd Farhan Aliff Ahmad urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence against the accused.
“The prosecution also requests for a longer jail term to allow the accused to undergo rehabilitation in prison, as he seemed very inclined towards the ideology of the terrorist group, so much so that a witness even stated that the accused had invited him to go for ‘jihad’ in Marawi, Philippines,” they said.
However, lawyer Usha Kulasegaran from the National Legal Aid Foundation requested a lighter sentence for her client on grounds that he had a wife and children to care for, and had repented of his actions.
A total of 16 prosecution witnesses and two defence witnesses including the accused were called during the trial which began in February 2020.