Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail(right) has vowed to press on with the statutory rape charges against restaurant owner Riduan Masmud (Left) amid an initial move by the prosecution to drop the case following Riduan's "marriage" to the 13-year-old victim.
He said he had also asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the claim by the girl's father that Riduan paid him RM5,000 as compensation, which was handed down by the state's "Mahkamah Adat".
Gani said they were collecting more evidence, including the DNA report.
"We have never dropped the charge against him.
"I have directed my officers to gather more evidence and we will proceed with the case," he told reporters here on Wednesday.
Riduan's case shocked the nation after he was charged with statutory rape of the girl and later declaring that he had married her.
Under pressure, Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Gani Patail has said he will press statutory rape charges against a 40-year-old restaurateur for sex with a 13-year-old girl, regardless of the man’s marriage to the minor.
The public prosecutor has reportedly dropped the charge after Riduan Masmude declared he had wed the teen as his second wife, a decision that sparked a public storm.
“We have never dropped the charge against him.
“I have directed my officers to gather more evidence and we will proceed with the case,” Abdul Gani (picture) told reporters in Putrajaya.
He said his office was collectng further evidence, including a DNA report, and was also asking the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the claim by the girl’s father that Riduan paid him RM5,000 as compensation, a decision that had reportedly been handed down by Sabah’s “Mahkamah Adat”, a special custom court.
Riduan, a father of four children, aged two to 17 years, was charged on February 28 with statutory rape of the girl inside a car parked by the roadside in Inanam near Kota Kinabalu at about 10am on February 18.
He is currently out on RM8,000 bail, The Star daily reported.
On Monday, the Sessions Court gave the prosecution until June 6 to decide whether or not to proceed with the statutory rape charge after the girl allegedly withdrew her rape report against him on April 18.
The Sessions Court had been informed that a Syariah marriage certificate had been presented to the investigating officer to confirm the 40-year-old was now wed to the 13-year-old.
The Sabah Welfare Department is taking steps to take girl under its care and protection while trying to nullify her marriage to the man accused of having sex with her.
Sabah Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad was reported saying she had directed her officers to take immediate action to obtain a court order to have the girl placed under the care and protection of the department under the Child Act 2001.
“The girl was only 12 years and six months. I believe the victim is in a trauma. She should be protected instead marrying the man who had raped her,” she was quoted as saying today by state news agency Bernama.
Jainab had cast doubt on the validity of the marriage between Riduan and the girl after checking with Syariah court officials.
“A registrar told me there were two applications one from the man seeking consent to take a second wife, and another from the father of the girl seeking permission for his daughter to marry.
“They told me the father's application was allowed but there was no consent given for the man to take a second wife,” the state minister was quoted as saying.
Reports of child marriages in Malaysia have been increasing in the last few years, as have cases of adults who had sex with minors escaping with jail time.