Maid in Yong rape case ‘sounded distraught’

Court date: Yong arriving at the High Court in Ipoh for his hearing. — Bernama

IPOH: The maid allegedly raped by a former Perak executive council member sounded distraught when she made a call to the Indonesian Embassy, an indication that she was not coached on what to say, the High Court was told.

This was recounted by Riki Sapari, an employee attached to the embassy’s labour division’s complaints section, who was one of two people who testified in yesterday’s hearing of Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong, who is accused of raping his maid in 2019.

Riki, 39, disagreed with a question from Yong’s counsel Salim Bashir that there was someone with the maid when she made the call to the embassy on July 8,2019.

“From the way she was speaking to me, she was crying, in panic and fear. No one was coaching her on what to say, ” he said.

He believed that there was no one near the maid during her call to him as “there were no signs, sounds or other noises when she was speaking to me over the phone, ” he said in reply to a question from lead DPP Datuk Jamil Aripin.

Asked why Riki had written in his report that the maid was sexually harassed (pelecehan) instead of raped, despite her telling him that she was raped, Riki said he used that word as it comprised all sexual activities, including rape.

He also said that he was not in a position to know whether penetration or other forms of sexual assault had occurred when he received the complaint.

Riki dispelled the notion from the defence team that he had told the maid agency that the domestic helper had merely complained about getting unfair treatment from her employer and not about being raped.

“What I told the agency was that I received a complaint from the maid stating that she had been raped by her employer, and told them to go to the employer’s house as soon as possible, ” he said.

Salim then showed a police report made by a representative of the maid agency, which stated that they got a call from the embassy about the maid being unfairly treated (with no mention of rape).

Riki, however, reiterated that the police report made by the agency was not in accordance with what he had told them.

Yesterday, DPP Jamil made an application for the main two witnesses to testify in-camera without being exposed to the accused or his lawyers.

He said these two witnesses did not wish to have their identity known.

“The accused and his lawyers will be able to hear their voices but will not be able to see them when they testify, ” he said.

Furthermore, he said the second witness had claimed to being threatened previously.

“Thus, there is a risk. The witness needs to be protected, ” he added.

Counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh said he would make a submission objecting to the application soon.

Referring to one of the witnesses as the “victim”, he said: “The victim is not a child. We are okay that she gives her evidence in-camera, which means the public gallery is emptied.”

He said that this also meant that his client would not be able to see the witness.

“But it is our (lawyer’s) right to cross examine the witness, ” he added.

Rajpal also said that the Witness Protection Act was not necessary here as the lawyers had been served with an affidavit with the names of the two witnesses on it.

Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed said he would decide on the application once the defence had submitted.

“The case can continue with the other witnesses first, and any identification involving the two witnesses can be reserved at the moment, ” he said.

The trial continues today.

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