Paul Yong’s Rape Trial: Maid Possibly a “Political Pawn”

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The Ipoh Session Court set five days from November 11 for the trial of DAP lawmaker Paul Yong who is accused of raping his former Indonesian maid.

Zulfadhli Zulkaarnain

Judge Norashmia Khalid fixed the date at the case management today after both the prosecution and defence agreed.

Yong’s defence team includes Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer, Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng and lawyer Farhan Sapian.

Azhar Mokthar, Ainul Wardah Shahidan, and Naidatul Athirah Azman will prosecute.

Azhar informed the court that the prosecution will call 24 witnesses during the trial.

Last month, 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 on July 7, between 8.15pm and 9.15pm.

Ramkarpal earlier asked the court for a subsequent mention as he said the defence team only received the 47 documents, including forensic and scientific reports, from the prosecution team.

He also said the prosecution team only responded today to the allegation of a conspiracy in which Yong’s accuser was purportedly paid RM100,000 to lodge the report.

“We have written twice to the prosecution team to submit the documents earlier before the case management today.

“However, they only submitted the documents before the proceeding started today. We need time to go through the documents and need opinions from the experts in order for us to prepare for the defence,” he said.

Azhar said the police investigation on the conspiracy could not be completed as five witnesses, including Leong, who were called in by the authorities did not go to give statements.

Ramkarpal said the accusation against Leong was baseless as neither the police nor the prosecution notified them of the investigation.

Norashima then fixed October 22 for case management again.

Earlier, lawyer Gabriel Susayan and Shalvin Kanvinchelvan, who was appointed as watching brief by the victim’s mother, said the victim might have been used as a political pawn in the case.

Ramkarpal suggested the lawyer ask the person making this claim to lodge a report.

Speaking to reporters later, Yong’s lead counsel said the alleged victim’s lawyers could be privy to certain information.

“I have yet to receive further information from the (watching brief) solicitors as to why they said that.

Farhan Najib

“They may have been privy to certain information for them to make the allegation that the maid could be a ‘pawn in a political game’ or a ‘political pawn’,” Leong added.

When met outside the court, Gabriel said the victim’s mother raised the possibility.

“We will go through the issue and might ask the victim’s mother to lodge a police report,” he said.

“I have met the victim’s mother last week and will meet the victim soon. Several lawyers wanted to meet the victim but were not allowed. As a watching brief lawyer, we need to protect the victim’s dignity and welfare,” Gabriel added.

Earlier, about 200 Yong’s supporters gathered at the court as early as 8am to show support to the Tronoh assemblyman, who arrived 45 minutes later.

The group chanted Yong’s name and staged a protest against Nga Kor Ming, demanding he resign as Perak DAP chief.

There was a rift in Perak DAP after Nga told reporters that while Yong was only taking leave from his state government position, Pakatan Harapan would discuss the matter further, based on “current developments.”

Following this, Yong’s lawyer Leong, who is also Perak DAP deputy treasurer, and the party’s state assistant secretary Leow Thye Yih both quit their posts over Nga’s statement.

Leow claimed that the position of the party’s working committee was determined by Nga and was not in accordance with the party’s constitution.

Leow subsequently called Nga a dictator and accused him of rigging the Perak DAP elections.

The Perak DAP committee has denied the allegation of election rigging.