The magistrate’s court in Penang yesterday ordered a DAP assemblyman’s former aide to enter his defence on a charge of molesting a woman last year.
Magistrate Jamaliah Abd Manap made the decision after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in proving a prima facie case against L Prem Anand, 51.
Prem’s lead counsel E Gnasegaran told the court his client would prepare a sworn statement and that the defence would call “one or two” witnesses.
The court then set Jan 15 for the accused to enter his defence.
On July 18 last year, the well-known grassroots leader was charged with using criminal force with the intention to outrage the modesty of a 22-year-old woman at a parking lot of an entertainment outlet at Lebuh Pantai at about 11.30pm on July 6 last year.
In March this year, the victim told the court that Prem had groped her private parts and asked her to perform oral sex or manually stimulate his private part.
The victim said she had refused and that Prem later masturbated onto her leg.
The charge framed under Section 354 of the Penal Code carries a maximum 10 years in jail, a fine, whipping or any two of the punishments on conviction. Prem is currently out on bail of RM7,000.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Shafiq Mohd Sazali prosecuted.
S Rethinakumar and Audrey Wee also represented Prem, who served as a Penang Island Municipal Council member from 2008 to 2013.