IPOH, Feb 10 — The rape trial of DAP assemblyman Paul Yong has been postponed again after the defence team’s appeal for the case to be heard in the High Court will be heard at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today.
Sessions Judge Norashima Khalid allowed the adjournment of the trial pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on whether the trial should be continued at the Sessions Court or transferred to the High Court.
“The trial date will be maintained based on the decision or further instruction from the Court of Appeal,” she said.
She then fixed February 11 (tomorrow) for mention.
The trial was initially fixed from February 10 to 15.
Yong’s lawyer Farhan Sapian, when met outside the court, said that they will wait for the decision or instructions from the panels of the Court of Appeal.
“The decision could be made today or there be might be also further instructions from the Court of Appeal. This will be informed at the Sessions Court here tomorrow (during mention).
“If the appeal has been rejected, then the trial will resume as normal tomorrow. However, if the appeal has been accepted, the court will inform when the case will be transferred to the High Court,” he said.
“The date of the trial might also change depending on the instruction by the court,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Public Prosecutor Azhar Mokhtar said that he is ready with his 15 witnesses, including the victim, should the Court of Appeal reject the application made by the defence team.
“The trial should go on as fixed tomorrow if the court rejected the application. We don’t want to keep the victim here for too long. It has been more than five months,” he said.
On November 13, the defence team filed an application under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code to transfer the case from the Sessions Court to the High Court.
The team led by counsel Datuk Rajpal Singh had case should be heard in the High Court as various legal issues had cropped up, especially those under the Witness Protection Act 2009.
However, on November 26, the High Court dismissed Yong’s application to transfer his rape trial from the Sessions Court, prompting them to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
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 and 9.15pm.