DAP state lawmaker Paul Yong who was charged with rape pleaded not guilty at the Ipoh Sessions Court this morning.
“I understand (the charge) but I did not do it,” Yong said after the charge was read to him.
Yong is accused of the crime by his Indonesian maid, who lodged a report on the matter on July 8.
He was arrested the following day, and later released on police bail.
The charge under Section 376 of the Penal Code carries up to 20 years’ imprisonment and whipping on conviction.
Yong, who is also Tronoh assemblyman, arrived at the courthouse at 8.57am in a BMW car. Police had reinforced security in the vicinity to prevent any untoward incidents.
Accompanied by Buntong assemblyman A Sivasubramaniam, the grey-suited Yong wore a grim expression when he arrived at the court.
A group of Yong’s supporters had gathered at the courthouse entrance since 8.30am.
Also present at court were Perak speaker Ngeh Koo Ham, DAP Youth chief and fellow Perak exco member Howard Lee, Taiping MP Teh Kok Lim, and DAP Perak assemblypersons Teoh Yee Chern (Astaka), Chong Zhemin (Keranji) and Leow Thye Yih (Pokok Asam).
About 20 media practitioners were also at the scene.
Yong’s lawyers comprised Farhan Sapian, Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer.
The prosecution was represented by deputy public prosecutor Azhar Mokhtar, Ainul Wardah Shahidan and Naidatul Athirah Azman.
The case was heard before sessions judge Norashima Khalid.
The judge granted Yong bail of RM15,000 with one surety, down from the RM20,000 and two sureties sought by deputy public prosecutor Azhar Mokhtar.
Case management has been set for Sept 24.