Three on trial over church bombing in Malaysia

| July 6, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR : A high profile arson case involving the Metro Tabernacle church in Malaysia has begun at the Kuala Lumpur sessions court on Tuesday.

Three men were charged with firebombing the church in January.

The attack followed a controversial decision by the High Court to let a Catholic newsletter use the word "allah", which means god.

Two brothers – Raja Muhd Faizal and Raja Muhd Idzham – appeared in court together with their friend, Azuwan Sahah Ahmad.

The three were charged under 436 of the Penal Code for causing mischief with fire.

Earlier this year, the Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Malawati outside Kuala Lumpur was firebombed.

It is one of a spate of attacks on places of worship that raised ethnic tensions in the Muslim-majority country.

The three men were picked up after one of the accused sought treatment for severe burns at a hospital.

Their lawyer maintains that all three are innocent.

If convicted, the three men face a maximum jail term of 20 years.

The prosecution intends to call 25 witnesses before the trial ends.

So far, 7 testified on Tuesday, including two police officers, a fire department official and two eye witnesses.

The case continues on Wednesday with the prosecution preparing to call two more eye witnesses, and a doctor who examined one of the accused who sought treatment for severe burn at his clinic. – CNA /ls

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Category: Church Security

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