Paul Yong rape case: Witnesses to testify in open court but in view of the judge

IPOH: The two main witnesses, including the victim, in the rape case involving former state executive council member Paul Yong (pic), will give evidence in open court, but only the judge will be able to see them.

In making the decision, Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed said both the deputy public prosecutors and lawyers however will be able to hear the voices of the witnesses when they give evidence.

He said both the witnesses would be protected under Section 20 of the Witness Protection Act (WPA), and Section 265 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“The identity of the two witnesses need to be protected, and I made the decision after I conducted the inquiry,” he said when delivering the decision via Zoom on Thursday (June 24).

Justice Abdul Wahab added that the witnesses' names, addresses, and photographs should not be revealed.

“The victim’s name can only be mentioned in the proceedings, and their identities cannot be disclosed in public. The court will have their way of conducting the trial concerning the two witnesses,” he said.

On May 29, Justice Abdul Wahab said that the High Court would be conducting an inquiry, and added that he would be interviewing the victim and another witness personally to determine if they should testify in camera.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fitri Sadarudin prosecuted while Yong was represented by lead counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh and Salim Bashir.

The trial would continue from July 12 to 16.

On Aug 23, 2019, Yong claimed trial at the Ipoh Sessions Court for 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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