( Updated with Video and Photo link )Numpang Anak Suntai was charged in the Serian Magistrate Court this morning. He was released on court bail of RM5000 with 2 sureties. More than 200 Sebangan villagers and other NCR landowners nearby Serian came to show their support. Trial is fixed for 16 to 17 February 2011 in Simunjan. Keadilan legal team of Baru Bian, See Chee How and Desmond Kho represents Numpang.
The video of the court case is here. Lawyer Baru Bian to update the court situation on Numpang’s case.
More Photo at Keadilan Stampin Facebook
SERIAN: Numpang Anak Suntai, a prominent native rights activist in the Sebangan-Sebuyau area, was charged in the Serian magistrate’s court today with criminal intimidation. He pleaded not guilty.
Last month, Numpang and 290 other representatives of Iban communities filed a suit against a company associated with the family of Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.
They accused the company, Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd, of trespassing and encroaching into native customary rights (NCR) land. Quality Concrete is a logging company substantially owned by Roziah Mahmud, a sister of the Chief Minister.
Last October, Numpang was detained for three days in connection with a fire that destroyed the campsite of a company carrying out logging activities on behalf of Quality Concrete.
The fire occurred on Oct 18 and police arrested Numpang—along with another well-known activist, Nicholas Mujah, and five longhouse chiefs—on Oct 22. They were released on police bail.
The arrests caught the attention of international media and were condemned by several non-governmental organisations.
Quality Concrete has a licence from the Forest Department to extract timber from 3,305 hectares of forest that Ibans from six longhouses claim to be their NCR land.