Bandar Seri Begawan - A policeman found guilty of raping his daughter contested the Intermediate Court Judge's conviction and was dismissed recently by the Court of Appeal on finding corroborating statements from the victim to her mother, brothers and medical examiner, as well as relevant circumstantial evidence from the victim's brothers who lodged the report.
The grounds of appeal were that the Judge erred in law to accept the victim's evidence as credible and reliable as she has her mother's interest to protect, and that the court failed adequately to consider the explanation made by the appellant in his defence.
The appeal was also based on the conviction made against the weight of evidence that is unsafe and unsatisfactory. Medical examiners found that the victim's hymen was not intact, although this could not corroborate evidence of rape, but the Court of Appeal found that this was consistent with penetration by an object.
There was also the contest by the defendant on the quality of evidence put in court but, as the Court of Appeal finds, there was evidence upon which the judge was entitled to convict and that the defendant had failed to show the conviction was against the weight of the evidence.
"The judge was alive to the statutory requirement for corroboration of the victim's evidence implicating the appellant and the Judge looked for corroboration," suggested the Justices of the Court of Appeal.
"In common law, previous statements made by an alleged victim of a sexual offence was not capable of corroborating her evidence, though they could be supportive in terms of her credibility," said the Court of Appeals. Furthermore, the Court of Appeals cited Section 157 of the Evidence Act, where it states, "In order to corroborate the testimony of a witness, any former statements made by such witness, whether written or verbal, on oath, or in ordinary conversation, relating to the same fact at or about the time when the fact took place, or before any authority legally competent to investigate the fact, may be proven."
The appeal was heard before Justices of the Court of Appeal Geoffrey Lance Davies and David John Leonard, and was presided by John Barry Mortimer.
Yu Cin Chai appeared on behalf of the appellant while DPP Pg Hjh Hana Pg Hj Mohammad acted as the respondent.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin