Re­trial set for rape-mar­riage case

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A MALAYSIAN rape sus­pect who mar­ried his 14-year-old vic­tim to avoid jail will be brought back to court for a re­trial, the ac­cused’s lawyer said.

Ah­mad Syukri Yusuf, 22, al­legedly raped the girl, now 15, last year in a coun­try where rape charges can in­cur a sen­tence of up to 30 years in jail and whip­ping.

But a court in the state of Sarawak on Bor­neo is­land ruled last week it would not pro­ceed with the case af­ter it emerged the ac­cused had mar­ried his al­leged vic­tim, spark­ing an out­cry by ac­tivists and politi­cians.

“It’s back to square one. The trial will be heard again. It will be dif­fi­cult for me. It is a re­trial,” Ah­mad’s lawyer, Azam Trudin, said.

Ac­tivists wel­comed the fresh hear­ing which is ex­pected to take place end of Septem­ber, with some call­ing for child mar­riages to be made il­le­gal.

Heang Lee Tan from Women’s Aid Or­gan­i­sa­tion in Malaysia said the re­trial would “send the mes­sage that rape is a heinous crime, which we will not tol­er­ate in our so­ci­ety”.

“You en­dorse the vi­o­lent act [of rape] by al­low­ing that mar­riage to take place in the first place,” said Meera Sa­man­ther of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Women Lawyers in Malaysia.

“We must ban child mar­riages, es­pe­cially those in­volv­ing rape.” –

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