IPOH, Aug 23 — DAP state lawmaker Paul Yong, 49, was today charged at the Sessions Court with raping an Indonesian woman formerly in his employ.
The Tronoh assemblyman pled not guilty to the charge under Section 376 (1) of the Penal Code for rape, punishable with a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping on those found guilty.
The state executive councillor in charge of Perak housing, local government, public transport, non-Islamic affairs and new villages, was accused of committing the rape in an upper room at a house numbered 52 at Desa Meru 2, Meru Desa Park, Meru Raya here on July 7, between 8.15pm to 9.15pm.
The 23-year-old Indonesian was named in the charge sheet, but Malay Mail is omitting mention for now; she is still under the protection of the Indonesian embassy.
The grey-suited Yong wore a grim expression when he arrived at the court at 9am, accompanied by Buntong assemblyman A. Sivasubramaniam and was greeted by a small group of supporters who chant his name outside the courthouse.
Yong’s defence team includes Ramkarpal Singh who is the Bukit Gelugor MP, RSN Rayar who is the Jelutong MP, Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng and lawyer Farhan Sapian.
The prosecution team from the Attorney General’s (AG) Chambers were Azhar Mokthar, Ainul Wardah Shahidan, and Naidatul Athirah Azman.
Ramkarpal who led the defence team requested the charge to be postponed, pointing to new evidence forwarded by the Perak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham to the police in a report filed last night.
Ramkarpal told the court that Ngeh claimed to have received information that the person who helped the Indonesian file the rape complaint is believed to have received RM100,000 and was threatened with a pistol to not expose the secret.
“Based on the information given by Ngeh who is a credible source as he is the state speaker, we request the case to be postponed and the charge should not take place as there could be a conspiracy to tarnish Yong’s reputation.
“Police should investigate the new evidence and submit to the public prosecutor before the charge can take place.
“The evidence is relevant in this case and there is a possibility that the public prosecutor’s office could withdraw the charge after going through the new evidence,” he told Sessions Court judge Norashmia Khalid.
State deputy public prosecutor Ahzar said the AGC is aware of Ngeh’s police report, but told the court that the defence can use it later in the trial.
The judge ordered the charge to proceed today after hearing submissions from both sides.
Ahzar then asked the judge to disallow bail to Yong, arguing that the accused could disturb his complainant. He also argued on the possibility of Yong absconding.
In counterargument, Ramkarpal pointed out that the Indonesian is being harboured in in a safe house.
The defence lawyer argued that Yong, a father of four, has not seen his accuser since she filed her complaint with the police.
“There is no way Yong could meet the victim and he cooperated with all the police investigations by making himself present and even today he came to the court voluntarily, thus there is no reason for him not to be given bail,” Ramkarpal said.
Norashima granted bail at RM15,000 with one surety and fixed September 24 for case management.
The proceeding which started about 9.10am lasted nearly two hours.