KUALA TERENGGANU: Seventeen more followers of the Sky Kingdom sect were released on RM2,000 bail each by the Syariah High Court here.
The men had spent 14 days in the police lockup and prison after being detained by the state Islamic Affairs department at the sect commune in Hulu Besut on July 20.
Judge Mohamad Abdullah also extended the RM2,000 bail imposed by the Besut Lower Syariah Court on July 21 on 22 women and five men, mostly senior citizens.
He fixed Sept 1 for the re-mention of the case involving 49 followers who were charged under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offence Enactment (Takzir) Terengganu 2001 for not adhering to a state fatwa (edict) declaring the teachings as deviant.
One follower Kamariah Ali, 51, was slapped with an additional charge under Section 7 of the enactment for humiliating Islam by claiming she was not a Muslim on July 20. The trial for the charge was fixed for Sept 10.
All those charged were unrepresented as the Bar Council appointed syariah lawyer Saadiah Din of Selangor was only accorded observer status.
Saadiah said court registrar Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd had ruled that she could not represent them because she did not have a license to practice in Terengganu.