PUTRAJAYA: The special court for child sexual crimes has convened for the first time and five cases were brought before it.

Four were for rape while the fifth was an outrage of decency case.

Sessions Court judge Yong Zarida Sazali is presiding in the special court which was launched on June 22 by the Prime Minister to expedite hearings related to the sexual abuse of children.

The court also provides a conducive and safe environment for minors to testify.

For now, the special court will hear only Penal Code offences but when the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 – which was passed by Parliament in April is gazetted – Yong Zarida will try offences under the new law which covers child pornography, child sexual grooming and cases of people in positions of trust or authority who commit or abet such crimes.

The men charged in the court with rape yesterday are Mohd Haziq Hussain, 29, Lai Jun Kia (age unknown), Mohd Khalifah Hussin, 32, and Muhammad Rafaie Padzil, 18.

The fifth accused, Chua Kim Yap, a 43-year-old salesman, was alleged to have committed gross indecency by kissing and biting a 17-year-old boy on his chest in a hotel room in Kuala Lumpur at about 7.15pm on June 27.

Chua, who claimed trial, was not allowed bail and the case will be brought before the court again on Aug 8.

Later, Yong Zarida allowed an application by deputy public prosecutor Aimi Syazwani Sarmin for the next case to be conducted in-camera.

“All persons (journalists and those in the public gallery) are requested to leave the courtroom,” she said.

She then began the trial of Mohd Haziq, a food stall worker, who is charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in a house in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, at about 8.30pm on Feb 15, 2015.

The prosecution called two witnesses to the stand before the court adjourned for a conti­nuation on Aug 7-9.

Mohd Khalifah and Lai, who were previous­ly charged in another court, were not present yesterday.

Mohd Khalifah, a security guard, was charged with raping a young girl at a house in Petaling Jaya at about 6.30pm on April 5.

Their cases have been fixed for mention on July 20 and Aug 8, respectively.

Muhammad Rafaie, a shop assistant, will have his case brought before the court again on July 20.

He is facing two counts of raping a 15-year-old on Aug 11 last year at a house in Shah Alam and the next day at the same location.


From The Star Online