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Thursday, 7 December, 2000, 09:37 GMT
Malaysia jails six for treason
Mohamed Amin Razali, alleged cult leader
Alleged ring leader Mohamed Amin Razali is still on trial
Six members of a shadowy Malaysian Muslim cult have been jailed for 10 years for preparing to wage war against the king.

Members of Al-Ma'unah training
Al-Ma'unah members believes training makes them invulnerable
They are among 29 members of the Al-Ma'unah group who are on trial for the theft of a massive haul of military weapons which sparked Malaysia's most serious security crisis for years.

After the raid in July they allegedly vanished into the jungle where they seized four hostages, two of whom were killed during a five-day stand off with troops.

The suspects were all charged with waging war against the king, which can carry the death penalty.

But six had the charge against them reduced to one of making preparations to wage war after agreeing to plead guilty.

The trial of the remaining defendants resumes on 15 January.


Prosecutors say that on 2 July, 15 cult members disguised as soldiers, walked into two army camps in northern Perak state and seized more than 100 rifles, thousands of bullets and explosives.

A suspected gang member is arrested in Perak
Twenty seven gang members were arrested at a jungle hideout
The gang fled to a jungle hideout where they were joined by other members.

They are accused of taking four hostages during a stand off with security forces.

When they eventually surrendered, it was discovered two hostages, a soldier and police officer, had been killed.

Twenty-seven of the defendants were arrested after giving themselves up in the jungle. Another two were picked up in other states.


Lawyers for the six who pleaded guilty said they only played a minor role and had joined the cult for innocent reasons.

Malaysian security forces
The heist sparked a major security operation
They also asked for leniency as the court was passing sentence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said the cult aimed to overthrow his government and impose an Islamic state.

The cult, which is led by a former army private, Mohamed Amin Razali, and practises a form of martial arts, believes it can make devotees invulnerable to weapons.

Reports say some members made a bungled attempt to fire one of the stolen rocket launchers at a Carlsberg brewery, viewed as violating the Islamic ban on alcohol.

See also:

06 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian gunmen surrender
05 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian arms gang attacked
04 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian arms gang take hostages
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