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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Bid for secret testimony by Paul Yong rape case witnesses


Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong is charged with raping his maid at his house in Meru Desa Park on July 7, 2019. (Bernama pic)

IPOH: The prosecution in the maid rape case involving Tronoh state assemblyman Paul Yong told the High Court here today that it will make an application for two witnesses to testify under the Witness Protection Act 2009.

Perak state prosecution director Jamil Aripin told Judge Abdul Wahab Mohamed that the two witnesses were participants of the witness protection programme under the Act.

“We want the two witnesses to give their statements in accordance with Section 265 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code so that their identities and statements will not be disclosed and only need to be submitted to the court.

“Both witnesses have stated their wish to give statement in camera without being seen by the accused and his lawyers,” he said. Members of the public and the media were also not allowed to disclose information about the protected witnesses.

Jamil said that by identity, it not only meant the background, information or location of the witnesses but also includes anything that could lead to the disclosure of their identities, such as facial recognition of the witnesses.

Allowing the accused and his lawyer to see the witnesses would lead to the disclosure of identity, although certain parties, including lawyers and the accused, already had knowledge of the identities of the protected witnesses.

He said the two protected witnesses are the 24-year-old complainant and another who has received death threats.

He said “former state assembly speaker Ngeh Koo Ham had made a police report that he received information that the man who took the Indonesian maid to lodge a police report received RM100,000 and was also threatened by a man with a gun.

However, Yong’s lawyer Rajpal Singh, objected to the application to use the Witness Protection Act.

Judge Abdul Wahab then instructed the prosecution to wait until the defence team had prepared a reply before submitting the application on the use of the Act.

He also ordered for the trial to continue with the remaining witnesses so as not to waste time.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

Yong, 51, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of raping his maid at his house in Meru Desa Park on July 7, 2019 between 8.15pm and 9.15pm. - FMT

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