Parliamentarians arrive

Meanwhile, three opposition members of the Malaysianparliament who arrived in Manila on Friday to gather facts about Amalilio's case in the Philippines, said the Philippine government should question before the Malaysian courts the hasty conviction of Amalilio.

The MPs, who belong to the opposition Peoples' Justice Party, said their trip was part of their inquiry into Malaysian officials allegedly conspiring to protect Amalilio and who were allegedly instrumental in blocking his turnover to Philippine authorities last month.

Deliberate conspiracy

"It looks as if the hastiness in pushing it through, in keeping him two years in jail, was a deliberate conspiracy to stop him from being deported to face trial in the Philippines. It seems higher authorities are involved," MP Chua Tian Chang, PJP vice president, said in a television interview.

"The circumstances suggest intervention at the very highest levels. You have the chief police officer of Sabah giving instructions to block the deportation. The judge actually goes to the hospital and he has the charge read to [Amalilio], and he pleads guilty and is immediately sentenced to jail. It's highly unusual," said MP Sivirasa Rasiah.

The MPs said their investigation found that Amalilio's mother was a first cousin of Sabah's Chief Minister Musa Aman, whose brother Anifa is the Malaysian foreign minister. The Amans are also related through marriage to the attorney general, the MPs added.

With reports from Michael Lim Ubac and Star/Asian News Network

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