DAP’s Paul Yong rape trial adjourned pending application for case transfer to High Court

John Bunyan
DAP assemblyman Paul Yong is seen at the Session Court in Ipoh November 13, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Nov 13 — The Session Court here allowed an application for adjournment on the DAP assemblyman Paul Yong’s rape trial after the defence team request the case to be heard in the High Court.

Session Judge Norashima Khalid made the ruling after the defence team requested for an adjournment as they filed an application under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code to transfer the case from the Session Court to the High Court.

She then fixed December 5 for case management.

The defence team led by counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh, when met outside the court told reporters that they have filed an application in order for the case to be heard and transferred to the High Court.

“We will wait for the date set by the High Court to hear our application. Therefore, the trial will not go on at the moment,” he said.

Earlier, Rajpal argued that the case should be heard in the High Court as various legal issues cropping up, especially those concerning under the Witness Protection Act 2009.

“We were ready to proceed with the trial on Monday, but was taken aback when the prosecution requested the two main witnesses, to testify as protected witnesses.

“We objected strongly, and thus today the judge was supposed to make ruling whether the two witnesses could testify as protected witnesses or otherwise,” he said.

“However, due to various legal issues that was raised, which I am not in the liberty to reveal, then decided to file the application,” he said.

On Monday, the prosecution team requested the court to allow the two main witnesses, including the victim, in the case to testify as protected witnesses.

Meanwhile, the prosecution team, led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Azhar Mokhtar said that the application by the defence team for the case to be heard in the High Court is afterthought and a tactic to delay the trial.

“By right, the jurisdiction for rape cases is under Session Court.

“However, we will wait for the decision by the High Court on whether the case should be heard in the High Court or back to the Session Court,” he said.

The closed-door proceeding today commenced at 10am and lasted until noon. The proceeding then continued at 2.30pm and adjourned at 3pm.

Hundreds of Yong’s supporters, clad in white shirts and T-shirts, gathered outside the court as usual and chanted “Long Live Paul Yong”.

The members of media and public were made to wait under the sun for some eight hours as no one allowed to enter the court complex throughout the proceeding.

On August 23, the state executive councillor in charge of Perak housing, local government, public transport, non-Islamic affairs and new villages, claimed trial to the charge of raping the Indonesian at 52, Desa Meru 2, Meru Desa Park, Meru Raya here on July 7, between 8.15pm to 9.15pm.

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