Kangar— On Wednesday, April 24, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, a Malaysian Member of Parliament, has been discharged by the Sessions Court after his 15-year-old accuser dropped her complaint against him.
Last October, 68-year-old Mr Shahidan, who had been a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had been accused of molesting a teenage busker from the group he had sponsored. She claimed that the incident occurred in his Toyota Harrier SUV at an open space of Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Kangar, Perlis, at about 11:30 pm on October 20, 2018. The MP was then charged under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017. If he had been convicted, he could have been imprisoned for up to 20 years and whipped.
However, the judge in the case, Ainul Shahrin Mohamad, handed down his decision to discharge the MP when he found out that the prosecution had no desire for the case to proceed since the girl did not want to be questioned even on camera, according to Mr Shahidan’s lawyer, Zamri Ibrahim.
The lawyer said, “Today it was the victim’s turn to testify. She is the fifth prosecution witness. The victim when testifying initially had confirmed the police report lodged by her but thereafter told the court that she did not want to be questioned further and did not want to continue with the case.”
The prosecutor in the case was Perlis prosecution director Mohd Nordin Ismail.
Mr Zamri also said that the prosecution told the court it did not want to ask for the next witness to take the stand, and then asked that the Arau MP be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal under Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
After the judge made the decision for discharge the MP said, “I am fasting, I am a Muslim,” when asked to comment.
He had earlier denied all allegations against him, calling the incident “a misunderstanding.” Mr Shahidan is the former Perlis Umno Chief.
The girl’s father had also been reported to have said the incident had been amicably “settled,” and that there was no need for the matter to be “blown out of proportion”, according to a report in The Straits Times (ST).
But the police had said that regardless of any agreement between the family of the victim and the accused MP, investigations still needed to proceed.
The hearing had begun on April 23 and continued the following day, with two witnesses heard in open court on both days. The victim was supposed to have given her testimony in camera, which is why the public sitting in the gallery were asked to vacate the court.
An earlier witness, Norzuki Husin, told the court that he was unaware of the case until he was told about it by Saiful Anuar Abdul Hamid, a member of Buskers DSSK. Mr Norzuki, who is charge of the Kangar Special Branch, said that he did not exert influence on the family of the girl to file a police report, however, and said that he read the report at the Kangar police headquarters the day after it had been filed.
Another witness who testified in the case was Abdul Fatah Abdul Manaf, who had taken the girl’s statement for the report at 3:00 am on October 21, 2018.
He was also one who recorded her statement when she came in again to withdraw the complaint at 11:00 am on the same day.
He added, “I only handled the case for a week before I was directed to hand it over to ASP Salwani (no full name) from the Perlis contingent headquarters.”/TISG
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