The Putrajaya Court of Appeal today upheld the 10-year prison sentence on a former zookeeper who pleaded guilty to giving support to the Islamic State (IS) militant group and possessing terrorism-related items, two years ago.
The three-man bench chaired by Mohtarudin Baki dismissed the appeal by Mohd Shahrullizam Ramli, 32, against the sentence imposed by the High Court after finding his appeal had no merit.
"The appeal is rejected, the High Court ruling stays," said Justice Mohtarudin who sat together with Justices Yaacob Md Sam and Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.
On Aug 15 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court sentenced Mohd Shahrullizam to 10 years’ jail for supporting the terrorist group and another three years for possessing terrorist-related items and ordered the sentences to run concurrently from the date of arrest on July 19, 2016.
Earlier, Mohd Shahrullizam, who was unrepresented, appealed for the 10-year sentence to be reduced to six or seven years on the grounds that he did not contribute funds, spread the ideology or pledge his support.
"I participated in the Telegram app chat for only three months before I was arrested. Many of my friends who faced a similar charge(support for terrorists) were sentenced to six or seven years in prison," said the father of one.
Justice Mohtarudin asked Mohd Shahrullizam if he was aware of the maximum sentence for the offence, to which the accused replied "30 years".
"The sentence is 1/3 of the maximum penalty. The offence which you have committed is serious. Do not play with fire, " he told Mohd Shahrullizam who just remained silent.
Deputy public prosecutor Wong Poi Yoke argued that the High Court's sentence was reasonable and should be upheld as the appellant (Mohd Shahrullizam) was also active in a Telegram app chat group known as Gagak Hitam.
She said the appellant had also in the Telegram chat commended on an incident in connection to a bombing.
For the first offence, Mohd Shahrullizam was charged with giving support to IS terrorists through a Telegram app under the name 'Sharul', at 177-B5 Batu 11, Gombak from March 25 to June 29, 2016.
He was charged under Section 130J(1)(a) of the Penal Code which carries life imprisonment or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 years, or with fine, and shall also be liable to forfeiture of any property used in connection with the commission of the offence, if convicted.
For the second offence which was committed at the same place on July 19, 2016, he was charged with possessing items related to the IS militant group, namely a car sticker, headband and a flag with the logo of the militant group.
The charge under Section 130JB (1) (a) of the Penal Code provides an imprisonment of up to seven years, or fine, if convicted.