By Anisah Shukry and Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Judge Zulkpli Abdullah ruled today that the former club president charged with molesting his nine-year-old granddaughter will be disallowed from approaching the victim until the case concludes.
The judge said that if the accused or any third party on his behalf (including the child's father), were to disturb the child in any way, his bail would be revoked.
Judge Zulkpli said this after lawyer Vicky Alahakone, who is representing the girl’s mother, informed the court that the girl had not been attending school since January, fearing her father might contact her there.
Alahakone also claimed the child’s mother has been harassed by the father via repeated text messages asking for the child to visit him and stay with him.
The man is facing four charges under Section 354 of the Penal Code with sexually assaulting his granddaughter in various hotels, a condominium and in his car between 2010 to 2011.
Section 354 refers to the "assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty".
“The grandfather had been molesting the little girl for the past two years,” Alahakone told The Malaysian Insider today.
“The girl did not confide to anyone because her grandfather had insisted it was a ‘normal act of love’.”
Alahakone said the girl’s parents were divorced and she had been shuttled back and forth between the two every few weeks.
She alleged that the father was fairly busy to provide her care and therefore left her with the defendant, which is when the events transpired.
Alahakone also said that the child is a potential witness and the condition of the bail would prevent the grandfather and father from possibly influencing the child’s eventual testimony.
Commenting on the case, Dr. Hartini Zainudin from Yayasan Chow Kit and Voice of the Children who attended the proceeding today, stressed that while the “(alleged) perpetrator may be out on bail, the child’s life is put on hold. There is not enough protection for the victim.”
She also added that various separate cases with similar charges were dropped because the children were below ten and were considered unreliable as witnesses by courts.
The next court mention will be on April 18, with the hearing proper expected on May 21 and 22.