Sunday August 12, 2012
JAG: Clarify judgment on bowler
By YUEN MEIKENG
PETALING JAYA: Women’s groups have urged the judiciary to clarify its judgment in allowing a national bowler to escape jail for committing statutory rape on a 13-year-old girl.
The Joint Action Group For Gender Equality (JAG) said the judiciary should state all the factors that were taken into account for its decision.
“We are troubled that the perpetrator’s potential for a bright future, presumably derived from his status as a national athlete, was used as one of the grounds for the decision.
“If this was the sole influencing factor in the judgment, then the JAG expresses regret over the court’s decision to release the perpetrator on probation of good conduct,” the group said in a statement yesterday.
JAG, which comprises six women organisations, said the judgment appeared to hint at double standards by implying that anyone with the right “credentials” can commit a crime and get away.
“Does it mean that an individual perceived to have no future would get a heavier sentence?” it asked.
On Thursday, national athlete Noor Afizal Azizan, 21, escaped a five year jail term when the Court of Appeal allowed his appeal against a High Court decision to sentence him for statutory rape.
Noor Afizal, who was 18 when he committed the offence, was given an order to bind him over for good behaviour for five years.
Court of Appeal president Justice Raus Md Shariff noted that “public interest would not be served if Noor Afizal was sent to jail as he had a bright future”.