PETALING JAYA: Three handball athletes of the 2013 Malaysia Games (Sukma) were charged separately in three Sessions Courts with the rape of a chaperone last Thursday.
Adib Adha Ismail, 18, Megat Farzeril Faiz Megat Razali, 19, and Mohammad Shaizzad Md Shafie, 19, pleaded not guilty to the charge of raping the 20-year-old woman in a room at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang between 4am and 4.10am on July 4.
They face a maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping upon conviction.
The three courts allowed the athletes to be released on RM10,000 bail each in one surety. Adib Adha and Mohammad Shaizzad, however, are required to report to a police station once a month.
The courts set Aug 20 for mention of the cases.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Gin Han did not propose bail, saying that these were high-profile cases and it was feared that the accused would interfere with the witnesses who were fellow athletes.
He also applied for the three cases to be heard jointly.
The courts allowed the application and ordered that the trial be conducted before Judge Abu Bakar Manat. The two other judges were Yasmin Abdul Razak and Rozina Ayob.
Counsel Stephanie Wong applied for bail of RM5,000 for her client, Adib Adha, and said she was prepared to have her client report to a police station regularly and would ensure that he did not interfere with the witnesses and the police investigation.
Counsel Datuk Suraj Singh sought bail for his clients, Megat Farzeril and Mohammad Shaizzad, and said they would not interfere with the witnesses.
Suraj Singh said Megat Farzeril helped his mother in her business and earned RM800 a month and had to take care of four siblings while Mohammad Shaizzad was studying at a local college.
Counsel Ranjit Singh, who held a watching brief for the chaperone, applied to the court for an order to prohibit the media from identifying the chaperone.
Suraj Singh, in supporting the application by Ranjit Singh, said: “The media should be warned not to arrive at any conclusion in the case until after the court has given its judgement.”
The court allowed the application. Before the proceedings began, the three accused were seen weeping and embracing family members present in court. — Bernama