IPOH – The Sessions Court today ruled that the first day hearing of a rape case involving Perak State Executive Council Member Paul Yong Choo Kiong would be conducted in camera.
Judge Norashima Khalid made the ruling with the consent of both parties during the case management today.
She also allowed a request by the defence for the hearing to be held for four days, on Nov 11, 13, 14 and 15, instead of five days that were fixed earlier as Yong had to attend the State Assembly sitting on Nov 12.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Azhar Mokhtar requested that the first day trial of the case, which has been fixed on Nov 11 to be conducted through video link, but was objected by Yong’s lawyers, comprising Malim Nawar Assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng, Datuk Rajpal Singh and Farhan Sapian on grounds that the case did not involve an under-age victim.
However, both parties later agreed for the first day hearing to be held in camera with the key witness, an Indonesian maid, aged 23, to be called to testify in the presence of only the judge, the accused, court interpreter, the prosecution and the victim’s lawyer.
Last Aug 23, Yong pleaded not guilty to raping the maid at a house in Meru between 8.15 pm and 9.15 pm on July 7.
Meanwhile, representative of the Indonesia Consulate in Malaysia, Shabda Thian, when met outside the court, said the victim was in better condition now, though still traumatised by the alleged rape incident.