Indonesian to testify privately in DAP lawmaker Paul Yong’s rape trial

John Bunyan
DAP lawmaker Paul Yong arrives at the Session Court in Ipoh October 22, 2019. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Oct 22 — The 23-year-old Indonesian domestic worker who accused DAP assemblyman Paul Yong of rape will be allowed to testify against him in closed proceedings.

During case management today, Yong’s lawyers Datuk Rajpal Singh and Leong Cheok Keng requested that she be the first witness called.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Azhar Mokhtar then sought for her to testify remotely via video link by claiming she was protected under the Witness Protection Act.

Rajpal contested this, noting she has already been named and was not a minor.

He offered for her to testify on camera and in a closed court.

“By doing this the judge can see her demeanour and so do the defence team. When we cross examine her, we are rest assured that she is not being influenced by anyone sitting beside somewhere, if the testimony is heard via a video link,” he said.

He also asked if there was an ulterior motive in preventing the woman from appearing in person.

The prosecution that included Ainul Wardah Shahidan and Naidatul Athirah Azman agreed to the closed-door testimony and sought for this to be limited to the judge, the prosecutors, the defence, and lawyers holding a watching brief for the Indonesian embassy.

Last month, 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.

Leong’s lawyers earlier asked for the prosecution to dismiss the charges due to the lack of physical evidence but Azhar said they have witness testimony that could be used to prove the allegation.

Norashima then sent November 11, 13, 14 and 15 for the trial, excluding November 12 to allow Yong to attend a state assembly sitting.

Earlier, hundred of Yong’s supporters gathered outside the court complex in a show of solidarity with him.

 


 

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