Paul Yong rape trial: Prosecution request main witnesses to testify with protection

John Bunyan


DAP assemblyman Paul Yong leaves the Session Court in Ipoh November 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Nov 11 —The prosecution today requested the court to allow the two main witnesses in the rape trial of DAP assemblyman Paul Yong to testify as protected witnesses. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Azhar Mokthar said the request was made under the Witness Protection Act 2009, where the witness can testify on camera. 

This, Azhar said will allow the witnesses, including the 23-year-old Indonesian victim, to testify without being fearful of the accused or any party. 

“Under the Witness Protection Act, there are provisions which allow witnesses to testify remotely via video link or on camera. So our request today was on this basis,” he told reporters when met outside the Session Court here. 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Azhar Mokthar speaks to the press after DAP assemblyman Paul Yong’s proceeding at the Session Court in Ipoh November 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

He, however, did not disclose the identity of the second witness for safety reason. 

Azhar also said that the ruling on the request will be decided by Session Court Judge Norashima Khalid on Wednesday morning when the trial resumed. 

The closed-door proceeding today commenced at 9am and lasted until noon. The proceeding then continued at 2.30pm and lasted for about an hour. 

Meanwhile, Yong’s lawyer, Malim Nawar assemblyman Leong Cheok Keng, said that he will have to withdraw from the case as he is also a potential witness. 

Supporters surround DAP assemblyman Paul Yong's car as it leaves the Session Court in Ipoh November 11, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

“The decision was made as the deputy public prosecutor believes that I could no longer represent Yong as I was previously called by the police to give a statement on this case,” he said.

On August 23, 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 here on July 7, between 8.15pm to 9.15pm.