Shahidan Kassim off the hook over child molest

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KANGAR, April 24 – Former Perlis Mentri Besar and current Arau MP Dato’ Sri Shahidan Kassim has been let off the hook by the Session Court today for allegedly molesting an underage girl.

Judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad delivered a discharge without amounting to acquittal after the victim retracted her report.

The decision was reportedly made in her chambers, behind closed doors after hearing 3 witnesses including the alleged victim.

“This case is over… There is no issue of appealing, and there was supposed to be six witnesses called in to give statements,” Shahidan’s lawyer Zamri Ibrahim was quoted saying.

Shahidan himself is said to have declined to comment about the case except for saying, ““I am fasting, I am a Muslim, and I abide by the decision.”

What happened?

Shahidan was charged in November 2018 under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017. The act can be used for physical sexual assault on a child by touching any part of the child’s body.

He was alleged to have molested the girl, then aged 15 years and seven months, by holding her shoulder and her left hand in a vehicle at the compound of Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium at about 11.30pm on Oct 20 last year.

Shahidan initially missed his court appointment in November last year claiming to be performing ‘umrah’ in Mecca. An arrest warrant was then issued by Sessions Court judge Johari Abu Hassan after Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Nordin Ismail applied for it.

Responding to public outcry, Shahidan defended himself over the allegation by claiming that it was a misunderstanding.

The Malay Mail wrote that the father of the girl had reportedly stated that the matter had been amicably “settled” and the family had decided that there was no need to “blow it out of proportion”.