Four tourists who posed naked on a sacred mountain in Malaysia have pleaded guilty before a Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ court.
The four,Briton Eleanor Hawkins, Danielle Peterson,Canadians Lindsay and a Dutchman were also blamed for causing an earthquake admitted causing a public disturbance
They were charged along with six others after they stripped on Mount Kinabalu and the Judge based on their guilty pleas may sentence them.
All four pleaded guilty at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ Court and the judge is considering sentencing.
Eleanor Hawkins and her co-accused covered their faces as they arrived at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ Court
Eleanor Hawkins had previously admitted the stunt was “stupid and disrespectful” and subsequently pleaded guilty.
The prosecution had during hearing in the matter told the court that the four tourists, along with six others, climbed the peak to enjoy the sunrise on 30 May and then challenged each other to take off their clothes.
But the court amended the facts to agree the accused did not tell the guide to “shut up” or “go to hell” as the prosecution alleged.
Their lawyer said they had simply ignored pleas not to remove their clothes, rather than verbally abuse the guide.
Counsel to the four, Ronny Cham said they were ignorant of local customs and “their act had brought shame and ridicule upon themselves and their respective countries”.
He asked the judge to not make an example of them, saying the intense international media coverage had traumatized them enough.
He called for them to be fined and deported rather than sent to jail.
Earlier, the four arrived at court accompanied by officials wearing balaclavas.
The accused were said to have covered their faces as they entered the court building, surrounded by retinue of media photographers.
“There’s a lot of public anger still against the tourists because many of them believe Mount Kinabalu is a sacred spot where their souls go to rest when they die,”
“The fact that these foreigners are alleged to have stripped on the peak, urinated and cursed at staff members trying to stop them is something that many locals say is disrespectful.”
On Friday last week, an earthquake had struck killing 18 people, including children, and leaving hundreds more stranded.