Malaysian soldier jailed for having image of IS flag in handphone

KUALA LUMPUR: A soldier has been jailed seven months by a High Court here for having a handphone containing an image which was related to the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Justice Siti Mariah Ahmad meted out the sentence against Kpl Mohd Azidi Said, 28, after he admitted to the charge yesterday.

She ordered the jail sentence to run from Aug 19, the day Kpl Mohd Azidi was detained.

Kpl Mohd Azidi who is attached to the Army College at Segenting Camp in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, was charged with possessing a handphone containing an image of the IS flag at the Port Dickson district police headquarters here at about 10.05am on Aug 19.

He was charged under Section 130JB of the Penal Code and was first produced at the Port Dickson Magistrate's Court on Sept 15.

Earlier in mitigation, Kpl Mohd Azidi who was unrepresented said he was the only son in the family.

He said he had been a soldier for more than eight years, and was the sole breadwinner and sent RM450 a month to his aged parents who are suffering from hypertension.

He said he had since repented and that he had been influenced by the ideology that a group posted on social media.

He also admitted that the ideology was clearly against Islamic teachings.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin said there were several other army personnel who had been charged with offences related to the IS and urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence against the soldier.

In passing sentence, Justice Siti Mariah said the court viewed his crime as a serious offence and had considered several factors including the fact that Kpl Mohd Azidi was a first offender, had pleaded guilty and had repented.

"Therefore, a proper sentence is seven months' imprisonment and the sentence is to run from the day you were arrested," she said.

Based on the statement of facts, Kpl Mohd Azidi had shown his interest in the IS struggle in Syria by the end of 2014 and started surfing the Internet on the IS fight as he believed that their struggle was true.

At the same time he had downloaded an IS flag into his handphone.

On Aug 19, he was detained at his office in Port Dickson.

Upon inspection, police found his handphone containing the image and seized the gadget.