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May 11, 2005

Deaf and mute rape trial

From: Malay Mail - Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia - May 11, 2005


Proceedings at the Shah Alam Sessions Court tomorrow will be a silent affair. And it is not because there won't be anything said.

On the contrary, a lot will be said as it is a rape case. But the difference is, both the accused and the victim are deaf and mute.

In the dock is a chef, Wan Badrulsham Wan Omar, 30, from Section 25 in Shah Alam, charged with raping a 22-year-old student.

Wan Badrulsham was charged yesterday but the case is up for mention tomorrow for the court to appoint a qualified sign-language expert.

Judge Suraya Othman also told accused she wanted to see his family members present in court when she brings up the matter of bail.

Wan Badrulsham's wife, who is also deaf and mute, was present in court yesterday.

She told the court through the interpreter that she could not be the bailor as she did not have the money.

During proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Samihah Rhazalie objected to bail, saying that it is a non-bailable offence.

"The victim from Kelantan is studying in Shah Alam," she said.

The accused, however, told judge Suraya that he has to support his family with a monthly income of RM600.

Using sign language, he told Suraya that his brother, who is working in Kepong, will be his bailor.

Wan Badrulsham was alleged to have raped his victim in his home at Block K, Jalan Tokoh 25/28 in Taman Sri Muda, on April 28 at 3.30pm.

He was charged under Section 376 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum 20 years in jail and whipping upon conviction. He was unrepresented.

Later, Samihah said the trial will be no different from other rape trials.

"The only difference is there would be a sign-language expert present and he or she has to be registered with the Palace of Justice," she said.

Samihah added that it is rare when both the accused and the victim are deaf and mute.

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