Two witnesses called on first day of Shahidan’s sexual assault trial

KANGAR: The hearing of the case involving Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (pix), who is charged with committing physical sexual assault on an underage girl, began today at the sessions court here with two witnesses called to testify.

They were a music teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Salang, Arau, Azhar Hassan, 49, who is also DSSK Buskers manager, and Adzleen Junaira Mohd Nasir, 27, who is the wife of a member of the group.

Questioned by the prosecution, conducted by Perlis prosecution director Mohd Nordin Ismail, Azhar told the court that the group was performing in front of the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium here when Shahidan arrived in a Toyota Harrier at about 11.30pm and the car stopped not far from there.

As usual, he said, he went to approach Shahidan and waved at the girl to come.

“After being in the car for two to three minutes (with the driver and an assistant no longer in the car), she left and walked towards a canopy where her mother, father and a younger sibling were watching the buskers performing.

“I suspected something happened between the girl and the accused when her father suddenly wanted them to go home after being informed about something by his wife, but I did not see or hear their conversation,” he said.

He said Shahidan, who is also a former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department under the previous government, also left the place later after handing him RM300.

Shahidan is charged with sexually assaulting the girl, then aged 15 years and seven months, by holding her shoulder and her left hand in the vehicle at the compound of Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium here at about 11.30pm on Oct 20 last year.

The charge, under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, provides for imprisonment up to 20 years and whipping, if found guilty.

Meanwhile, Adzleen Junaira told the court that she saw the girl leaving the Toyota Harrier in haste and was nearly in tears when relating to her mother what had happened in the car.

“She told her mother she was held on the shoulder and left hand by DSSK (referring to Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim).

“I also heard the father say ‘I will go to DSSK’s house tonight’,” she said, adding that she and her husband, Saiful Anuar, then accompanied the girl’s family to lodge a report at the Kangar police station at about 3am.

Shahidan is represented by lawyers Zamri Ibrahim, Zuhair Ahma Zakwan, Thalia Rohana Abdul Latiff and Syed Muhammad Anwar Syed Lokman.

The hearing before judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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