Court to conduct inquiry on two witnesses in Yong rape case


Paul Yong

IPOH: An inquiry will be conducted by a High Court here on two witnesses in the rape case involving former state executive council member Paul Yong.

Judge Abdul Wahab Mohamed said he would be interviewing the victim and another witness personally during the inquiry to determined if they should testify in camera.

“On June 23, I will make a decision whether the Section 20 of the Witness Protection Act (WPA), and Section 265 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code should be applied or otherwise, ” he said after hearing brief submissions from the prosecution as well as the defence team via Zoom yesterday.

Both the prosecution and the defence team had agreed for the inquiry to be conducted.

The prosecution had previously informed the court the witnesses, who are under WPA programme, had wished to testify in camera.

Yong’s lead counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh said how witnesses are protected is within the discretion of the court.

“For the victim, the defence team has agreed that she could give evidence in camera, in the sense that the public gallery is emptied, a partition placed so that she would not be able to see the accused, but the lawyers must have access to cross examine her from the witness box.

“As for the second witness, we have rejected the prosecution’s proposal of him giving evidence in camera, as he just like any other normal witness should take the stand, ” he added.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fitri Sadarudin said the issue of the identity of the two witnesses were not just about their names being exposed in the witness list and affidavits.

“But there is more to that, as it covers a wider aspect and angles, for instance, for the victim, it is about emotional disturbances and trauma, ” he added.

Rajpal said all rape victims faced trauma as well as emotional disturbances, and that if these were used to get witness protection, then it would open the floodgates for other rape cases as well.

Justice Abdul Wahab pointed out to the prosecution that victims of rape molest or even accident cases suffered trauma.

“However, I will wait for the inquiry first before making any decision over the issue, and a trial set in the agreed dates in June and July will proceed first, ” he added.

The trial dates had been fixed on June 23 to 25, and July 12 to 16.

On Aug 23,2019, Yong claimed trial at the Ipoh Sessions Court to raping his then 23-year-old maid.

The offence was allegedly committed in a room on the top floor of his house in Meru Desa Park on July 7 that year, between 8.15pm and 9.15pm.

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Paul Yong , Rape Case , High Court , Inquiry

   

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