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Zookeeper jailed 10 years for terror-related activities, leaves family in financial ruin

KUALA LUMPUR: A zookeeper, whose arrest over terror-related activities had plunged his family into financial difficulty and led to his wife seeking treatment for depression, was today jailed for 10 years by the High Court.
Judge Datuk Indera Mohd Sopian Tan Sri Abd Razak, in sending Mohd Shahrullizam Ramli to jail for two terror-related offences, said the crimes were serious in nature and had threatened the nation's security.
"The threat of the Islamic State (IS) is frightening in Malaysia and also worldwide, therefore the sentence should reflect the crimes committed.
"Although the accused had pleaded guilty to committing both offences, it does not mean that the accused should be accorded special privileges when it comes to sentencing," said Mohd Sopian.
Mohd Shahrullizam, 31, was sentenced to 10 years jail for the first offence of knowingly giving support to the IS terrorist group via mobile application 'Telegram' at 177-B5, Batu 11 in Gombak between March 25, 2016 and June 29, 2016.
He was sentenced to three years jail for possessing IS related items - a flag, a car sticker and a headband - at the same place at 1.20pm on July 19, 2016.
Counsel N. Sivanesan said the accused and his wife worked at Zoo Negara, as zookeepers and both earned RM1,300 each monthly.
"With the combined salaries, the family had enough but when the accused was arrested more than one year ago, everything changed, because the wife's income alone was not enough to sustain the family.
"The family is in dire straits now, and his wife has been suffering from depression ever since Mohd Shahrullizam was remanded. His wife had resorted to borrowing money from family and friends."
Sivanesan also said the accused, who has two daughters, regretted his actions and the children, especially the youngest who is still a toddler, had lost out on their father's love and affection after his arrest.
"The family's sufferings is a bitter lesson for the accused."
Deputy public prosecutor Noor Syazwani Mohamad Sobri requested the court to impose sentences to befit the crimes committed.
The court also heard that sentencing imposed on the accused should also be a lesson to the public not to commit similar crimes.
"The court should also take judicial notice that Malaysia is seeing an increasing number of cases related to terrorism."
Mohd Sopian ordered the sentences to run concurrently from Mohd Sharullizam's date of arrest, July 19, 2016.

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