Paul Yong rape trial pushed to June and July as witnesses unavailable

Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong arrives at the Ipoh High Court April 8, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong arrives at the Ipoh High Court April 8, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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JOHOR BARU, April 8 — The rape trial of Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong has been postponed to June and July after the prosecution told the High Court here that three witnesses were in quarantine and unable to testify tomorrow as scheduled.

Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed allowed the adjournment of the trial and set another eight days for the trial to continue.

He fixed the new trial dates for June 23 to 25 and July 12 to 16.

Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Jamil Aripin said the prosecution could not move on without calling those under quarantine.

“These three witnesses are the main witnesses as they are responsible for the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage linked to this case.

“We can’t show other witnesses the CCTV footage without these three witnesses,” he said.

Today, two witnesses namely ASP Razak Sulaiman, 52, who is attached to the Ipoh District Police Headquarters’ Criminal Investigation Department and Thong Wan Cheng, 54, the secretary of a maid agency testified.

A total of nine witnesses have testified so far in the trial that started on Monday.

Abdul Wahab also set May 28 for the submission and decision on the Witness Protection Act (WPA) 2009 applied by the prosecution team on Tuesday for the victim and second witness.

The defence team objected to the application and is expected to submit their reply via e-filling on May 24, before the decision is made on the matter.

On Tuesday, Jamil told the High Court the prosecution would apply for protection for two of their witnesses.

He previously informed the court that two witnesses were in the WPA’s witness protection programme.

On August 23, 2019, Yong, 50, a former Perak exco for housing and local government, public transport, non-Muslim affairs and new villages, pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court in Ipoh to the charge of raping his 23-year-old Indonesian maid.

The Tronoh assemblyman was accused of committing the offence at his house in Meru Desa Park on July 7, 2019 between 8.15pm and 9.15pm.

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