Ex-Tronoh rep Paul Yong's rape conviction stays

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal upheld on Friday (March 1) former Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong's conviction for raping his Indonesian domestic helper.

However, his 13 year-jail sentence has been reduced to eight years while the penalty of two lashes remains.

In a majority 2-1 decision, the appellate court ruled that Yong's appeal did not hold merit as the trial judge made the correct judgment in convicting him.

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Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail, who chaired the panel, together with Justice Azman Abdullah formed the majority while Justice SM Komathy Suppiah held the dissenting position.

Justice Azman, who read out the judgment, said the trial judge did not err in his decision.

“The trial judge was also correct to hold that the appellant’s defence was an afterthought and bare denial,” he said.

Justice Komathy, meanwhile, said she allowed the appeal as the evidence presented was not credible.

ALSO READ: Hisyam Teh to lead defence team in Paul Yong's rape case appeal

She said Yong did not receive a fair trial as the defence was unable to observe the complainant’s testimony and hence, could not observe her demeanor and gestures.

On July 27, 2022, the Ipoh High Court found Yong guilty of raping his 23-year-old Indonesian maid in a room of his house in the city between 8.15pm and 9.15pm on July 7, 2019.

High Court judge Justice Abdul Wahab Mohamed, in his decision, said the court agreed with the prosecution that Yong's defence that the rape incident did not occur was not credible, merely a denial and an afterthought.

Yong, 54, was given a stay of execution pending his appeal.

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