Royal Malaysian Air Force member acquitted of rape charges

File photo for illustration purposes

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, May 21: The High Court today acquitted and discharged a member of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) from charges of raping his 16-year-old girlfriend in 2016.

Justice Dr Alwi Abdul Wahab overturned the conviction and the 10-year prison sentence with five strokes of the cane handed down by the Kuching Sessions Court on Feb 7, 2023, following the 31-year-old man’s appeal.


Justice Alwi in his judgement today ruled that there was merit in his appeal and therefore set aside the Sessions Court’s conviction and acquitted and discharged the the appellant.

The appellant had been charged with raping the victim, who was 16 at the time, at a hotel on Jalan Abell between 2 and 3 am on Aug 31, 2016.

He was charged under Section 376 (1) of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and caning upon conviction.

The defense counsel, Abdul Rahman Mohd Hazmi, argued that the prosecution’s key evidence, a printed photograph, was inadmissible as it was not the original document.

He contended that to prove the authenticity of a document, the prosecution must present the original source. In this case, the image had to be demonstrated directly from the original device, with the smartphone’s display shown in court.

“The court cannot assume that any evidence displayed during the trial is identical to what was present at the time of the incident,” Abdul Rahman stated.

The disputed photograph purportedly showed the accused and the victim together in a hotel room on Aug 31, 2016. It was obtained by the victim’s mother from a friend of the victim via an app.

The prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Aidatul Azura Zainal Abidin. — DayakDaily