A deaf-mute Korean pastor was charged in the Penang Magistrate’s Court today with molesting a man 20 years ago.
However, no plea was recorded from Jee Jon Hoon, 55, as the court had to get a Korean and an international sign language interpreter to make him understand the charge.
Jee was charged with molesting the man, who was then 30 years old, in 2000 at a house at Lorong Delima 3, Gelugor.
The charge, framed under Section 354 of the Penal Code, provides an imprisonment for up to 10 years, or fine, or whipping, or any two of the punishments, if found guilty.
Following which, the court set Feb 9 for mention and Magistrate Rosnee Mohd Ridzuan allowed Jee bail of RM6,000 with two local sureties and also to report himself at the nearest police station every month, as well as to not intimidate the victim.
Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Shahrezal Mohd Shukri prosecuted, while Jee was represented by lawyer G Shanmugam.
This is the third outraging modesty charge the foreigner was slapped with this month.
The deputy public prosecutor did not offer bail to Jee pending mention of the case for the charge to be translated to Jee.
The magistrate then asked Shanmugam if he could communicate with Jee with regards to mitigation for bail.
He replied that he had to communicate through Jee’s friends.
There was a slight confusion as the lawyer called in two of Jee’s friends to help interpret.
After Rosnee explained that she only required Jee to describe his job, age and reasons why he should be offered bail, Shanmugam told the court that he could mitigate for his client.
“The prosecution wants to charge him today but is not ready to do so even though they know of his situation and the need for an international sign language interpreter,” he told the court.
He said Jee is now out on a bail of RM10,000 that was allowed by the Butterworth magistrate’s court and his passport had already been surrendered to the court.
“He turned up today for this case and this showed that he is not a flight risk,” he said.
He said Jee has been in Malaysia for 25 years and is a pastor in a church for the deaf and mute in Chai Leng Park, Butterworth.
“He only gets an allowance of RM3,000 each month and does not have any previous offences before this,” he said.
He asked that the court set a bail of RM5,000 for Jee.
Rosnee allowed bail at RM6,000 with two Malaysian sureties.
She also set the condition that he must report to the police station nearest to his home on the 29th of each month.
“He is forbidden from approaching and harassing the victim of the case until the case is over,” she said.
She set February 9 for mention and for the charge to be translated to Jee.