KANGAR: The Sessions Court has discharged Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who was accused of molesting an underaged girl in his vehicle six months ago.
Lawyer Zamri Ibrahim, who represented Shahidan, said judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad made the decision after being informed that the prosecution did not want to proceed with the case as the victim was not willing to be questioned even on camera.
“Today it was the victim’s turn to testify. She is the fifth prosecution witness. The victim when testifying, initially had confirmed the police report lodged by her but thereafter told the court that she did not want to be questioned further and did not want to continue with the case,” he said.
He said the prosecution informed the court it did not want to call the next witness and asked the accused be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal under Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Shahidan, 68, who is a former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department under the previous government, was charged with molesting the girl, who was then aged 15, in his sports utility vehicle at the compound of the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium here on Oct 20 last year at about 11.30pm.
He was charged under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, which provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years and whipping, if convicted.
Shahidan when asked to comment on the court’s decision, said: “I am fasting, I am a Muslim.”
The prosecution was conducted by Perlis prosecution director Mohd Nordin Ismail.
two witnesses have testified since the case started on Tuesday. Earlier yesterday, the complainant was called to testify on camera and the court asked the members of the public seated in the gallery to leave the courtroom.
Earlier at the trial, Insp Norzuki Husin, who is in charge of the Kangar police headquarters (IPD) Special Branch, in his testimony had said that he did not know the case clearly until he was informed by his friend Saiful Anuar Abdul Hamid, a member of Buskers DSSK, while they were having a drink at a shop in Kuala Perlis on the evening of Oct 20.
He said he did not influence the family of the girl to lodge a police report and had only read the report made by the complainant while at the IPD the next day.
Another witness, Insp Abdul Fatah Abdul Manaf, in his testimony had said that he was the officer who recorded the complainant’s statement for the report at 3am on Oct 21 and also recorded her statement again when she came to withdraw the complaint at 11am the same day.
“I only handled the case for a week before I was directed to hand it over to one ASP Salwani from the Perlis contingent headquarters,” said Abdul Fatah. — Bernama