PETALING JAYA: The volunteer scoutmaster who allegedly molested 11 schoolgirls, all aged 14, and his 15-year-old daughter has a right to bail, says Bar Council member Richard Wee.
Petaling Jaya deputy police chief Supt Meor Hamdan Meor Mohamad told reporters the 45-year-old was being investigated under Section 354 of the Penal Code under assault or use of criminal force with intent to outrage modesty.
Wee, also the National Young Lawyers Committee chairman, said although the court could deny bail, it was unlikely as Section 354 is a bailable offense.
“Under the law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he told The Malay Mail.
Five of the girls’ parentslodged police reports last Wednesday and the man was arrested within 24 hours.
He was released on bail the following day. Families of the victims were baffled the suspect was allowed bail and questioned why he was allowed to return home to his daughter.
They also criticised the police for releasing the man only a day after he was arrested. Wee stressed the focus should not be on the bail but how fast the police can work with the deputy public prosecutor (DPP).
“It is incumbent upon the police and DPP to work as fast as possible to make sure police have the accurate information and get this person charged,” he said.
Wee also said the police could seek a remand order from the magistrate’s court.
“Under the law, police can ask for a remand but it is their prerogative.”