Four tourists who stripped atop Mount Kinabalu plead guilty (VIDEO)

One of the four tourists being led by the police at the Kota Kinabalu court today. ― Picture by Julia Chan
One of the four tourists being led by the police at the Kota Kinabalu court today. ― Picture by Julia Chan

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KOTA KINABALU, June 12 —  Four foreign tourists who triggered local outrage by posing for nude photographs atop Mount Kinabalu today pled guilty to charges of public indecency.

Canadians siblings Lindsey Petersen, 23 and Danielle Peterson, 22, Dutch national Dylan Thomas Snel, 23, and Briton Eleanor Hawkins, 24, all admitted to the charge under Section 294(a) of the Penal code for public indecency, but disputed the facts of the case.

The four’s was represented by lawyer Ronny Cham and the case at the Sessions Court here was heard by judge Dean Wayne Daly.

According to the facts of the case, the group of ten had challenged each other to see who could stand the longest in the cold naked.

The women were accused of going topless while the men had stripped completely at 6.45pm on May 30, at KM8 on Mount Kinabalu.

The case is being prosecuted by deputy public prosecutor senior federal counsel Jamil Aripin, assisted by Dominic Chew and Afzan Abdul Kahar.

At 4pm, the four sought to delete the facts of the case that stated them as telling a mountain guide “shut up”, “stupid” or “go to hell”.

The request was granted and replaced with the fact that the mountain guide was “ignored by them”.

Cham, who asked for the four to be granted a non-custodial sentence, said that the four were young adults whose generation was accorded more freedom and liberties.

“Their act on Mount Kinabalu was ignorance of culture, adat and sensitivities of the indigenous people and not ignorance of the law,” he said.

Cham said that the four have suffered enough trauma and wide news coverage international has served as deterrent enough against future would-be offenders.

Prosecutor Jamil, in pressing for a deterrent sentence, said that the act had brought upon the local Malaysian and Sabah community much outrage from the photos circulated on social media.

“We expect our visitors to respect our culture, beliefs and sensitivities.

“They are of mature age and being ‘young and innocent’ is not a defence against a lax sentence,” he said, agreeing that there was no link of the earthquake to the act.

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