Marriage cannot negate rape charge, says lawyer

Marriage cannot negate rape charge, says lawyer

PETALING JAYA - The police and the public prosecutor cannot drop rape charges just because the suspect has married the victim, said a lawyer.

Lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam said such criminal cases could not be regarded as closed even after the complainant had withdrawn the police report.

"This is because criminal cases are not about victim versus culprit. It is about the state versus the culprit. Even if the police report is withdrawn, the public prosecutor still has the power to proceed with the charges," he said, adding that he could not comment further without knowing the details of the case.

He was referring to the claims by Saad Mustafa, 44, who said that he only agreed to the wedding of his then 12-year-old daughter Nur Fazira to 19-year-old Mohd Fahmi Mohamed Alias in November last year because she was raped by Mohd Fahmi and his two friends four months earlier.

Mohd Khairul advised the victim to lodge a fresh report and seek assistance from the Welfare Department as well as the Women, Children and Community Deve­lopment Ministry.

Syariah Court Judge Zaini Abdul Rahim also agreed that rape cases could not be dropped just because the complainant withdrew the police report.

The public prosecutor and Attorney-General, he said, could look into re-opening the case, adding that the victim could also file a defamation suit in a civil court for damages and losses.

However, he said any verbal agreement made between the families of the victim and the suspect could be used when pleading the case.

"The withdrawal of the police report and the subsequent wedding reflect elements of some sort of agreement between the two parties," he noted.

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