Timestamps of surveillance footage in Paul Yong rape case out of sync, High Court told

Paul Yong arrives at the Ipoh High Court August 17, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Paul Yong arrives at the Ipoh High Court August 17, 2021. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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IPOH, August 17 — The timestamps in the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from a Sierra Meru Desa Park guard post and a fast-food restaurant in Meru Raya here used in Paul Yong’s rape case are not accurate, a policeman told the High Court today.

Inspector Rashidi Othman, who is attached to the criminal investigation department in Perak Police Headquarters, said that the internal clocks in both the CCTVs used were not set up accurately.

“The timing in the CCTV footage at the housing area guard post is 10 minutes faster whilst the timing in the CCTV footage at the fast-food outlet was seven minutes slow,” he said in front of Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed.

He was answering deputy public prosecutor Mohd Fitri Sadarudin who asked him to explain why he said the timing in the CCTV footage was accurate.

“When I compared the timing in the footage with the timing in my watch, they are different.

“I believe the timing in my watch is set to real time as the watch has the function of setting the timing automatically according to the country we are in.

“I have also double checked the timing in my phone,” he added. 

However, Rashidi said that he did not compare the timing of CCTV footage with Radio Televisyen Malaysia’s (RTM) to confirm they were synchronised when cross-examined by counsels Datuk Rajpal Singh and Salim Bashir, who represent Yong.

Rashidi also said that he never heard of the terms time stamping and digital watermarking when asked by Salim if he used these methods to analyse the authenticity of the CCTV footage.

Rashidi also admitted he has no expertise in evaluating time stamps and digital watermarks.

Salim then asked Rashidi if he ever checked or obtained the calibration certificate for the CCTV devices from both the housing security management and fast-food outlet, to which he replied “No”.

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

The case was started in the Sessions Court but, on December 15 last year, the Federal Court allowed an application by the defence to transfer the case to the High Court.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) assemblyman was first charged in the Sessions Court here on August 23, 2019.

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