Paul Yong rape trial postponed after three witnesses contract COVID-19


IPOH – The High Court here today postponed the rape trial involving Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong (picture) after three main witnesses tested positive for COVID-19.

Judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed fixed eight days from June 23-25 and July 12-16 as the next trial dates.

This following a request by the prosecution for a postponement after three of its witnesses in charge of CCTV recordings are now under quarantine.

“Without these three testifying, the other witnesses cannot take the stand to view the recordings,” he said.

The court also fixed May 28 for the defence reply and the decision on the prosecution’s application for two witnesses to testify under the Witness Protection Act 2009.

On the fourth day of trial today, prosecution witness, Thong Wan Cheng, a secretary at a Bercham-based maid agency, told Deputy Public Prosecutor Liyana Zawani Mohd Radzi that on the morning of July 8, 2019, the agency’s telephone operator answered a call from Indonesian Embassy Manpower Unit employee, Riki Sapari, who claimed that the victim had contacted him and alleged that she had been raped by her employer.

“I then contacted Riki through WhatsApp after he failed to answer my call and he asked me to lodge a police report and to go rescue the victim,” she said.

However, when the agency’s employees went over to Yong’s house at 1.30 pm, they were told that the 24-year-old victim was no more in the house and that house keys were also missing, Thong told the court.

Yong, 51, was charged with raping the maid at his house at Meru Desa Park between 8.15pm and 9.15pm on July 7, 2019.

He was first charged on Aug 23, 2019, while holding the post of State Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs and New Village Committee chairman.