Malaysian court dismisses child rapist's appeal

KOTA KINABALU - Convicted child rapist Riduan Masmud who had been on bail pending appeal for almost a year is finally going to jail.

The 42-year-old former restaurant manager kept his head low when the Kota Kinabalu High Court Stephen Chung judge dismissed the appeal pertaining to his statutory rape case on Monday.

Chung ordered for Riduan to serve his sentence of 12 years imprisonment and two strokes of the cane from Monday, and dismissed counsel Ram Singh's application for a stay of execution, saying that there was no reason for Riduan not to go to jail.

In the meting out of his sentence, Chung said that referring to the points of appeal presented by Ram Singh, there was nothing to disturb the Sessions Court judge's ruling.

Chung referred to several points, such as the competency of the two child witnesses including the victim and the DNA evidence found on several items in the vehicle where the incident took place.

He pointed out that there was also nothing to undermine the credibility of the child witnesses.

"There is immense public interest in this case," he added.

Ram Singh is however filing an appeal at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Riduan, a father of four children aged between two and 17, was charged with raping the schoolgirl, who was about 12-year-old that time in a parked vehicle on a road near Kionsom Waterfall in Inanam between 9 and 10am on Feb 18, 2013.

He later married the schoolgirl in May that year in a bid to escape conviction, and was also charged for bribing the girl's father RM10, 000 (S$3,790) to withdraw the police report.