Published on: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Restaurant manager Riduan Masmud who was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl did not turn up in court, Monday, to hear what sentence awaits him.
Not totally convinced by the medical certificate he had submitted through his counsel, Sessions Court Judge Ummu Khaltom Abd Samad decided to issue a warrant of arrest for the 41-year-old.
Riduan was last Friday found guilty of raping the girl - who he later married - in a car parked by the side of the road towards the Kionsom Waterfall in Inanam between 9am and 10am on Feb. 18, 2013. He was due to be sentenced on Monday.
The offence is punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment and whipping.
Ummu said she was not satisfied with the content of the MC tendered in court because it did not state his illness nor the period of his sick leave. After giving him an hour, Ummu issued a warrant of arrest as the counsel also failed to reach Riduan's family.
Ummu fixed next Monday to review the warrant.
Earlier, counsel YS Lo informed the court that he received the MC from Riduan's family who came to his office before the court sat Monday. He apologised to the court, saying he tried to contact Riduan's family but none of their handphones could be reached.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Zaizul Faridah Raja Zaharuddin informed the court the reason given was insufficient because the MC did not state the nature of Riduan's illness.
It was also unfair for the prosecution to not know when Riduan can come to the court, she said.
Faridah insisted Riduan's family to come to court to give further information.
However, none of Riduan's family was in court on Monday except for the victim and her relatives, including her father, aunt, a friend (one of the witness) and uncle.
The courtroom was not as packed as Friday. Counsel Mary Florence Gomez is holding a watching brief for Voice of the Children Malaysia, Sabah Law Association, Befrienders Kota Kinabalu while counsel Mary Lee for the Sabah Women's Action Resource Group (Sawo), Women's Centre For Change, Penang (WCC Penang), Sisters In Islam, Anne Keyworth of Bukit Harapan.
THE victim's aunt, who wanted to see Riduan sentenced, was among those disappointed by his no-show in court, Monday.
She was hoping a heavy sentence would be imposed on Riduan to send the right message to the public.
She said parents, in particular, should take heed of the rape and give priority to the future and interest of their children.
"I am disappointed that the sentencing of Riduan has been deferred.
However, I am very pleased that the judge has issued a warrant of arrest against Riduan to ensure he will be present next Monday.
She also hoped the authorities would be able to execute the warrant of arrest as she does not wish the case to be prolonged any longer.