KUALA LUMPUR: A high-profile trial is shaping up with the husband of celebrity TV presenter Daphne Iking accusing a corporate figure of “enticing” his wife.
The man has dragged the managing director to court under Section 498 of the Penal Code for “enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman.”
Choy Khin Ming, dressed smartly in a white shirt and black pants, stood in the dock as his lawyers and the aggrieved husband’s lawyers introduced themselves to magistrate Mohd Faizi Che Abu.
The appearance of two other lawyers, Ravi Nekoo and Pushpa Ratnam, took the court by surprise when the former told magistrate Mohd Faizi Che Abu that they were there to hold a watching brief for Iking and may file to ask questions later.
Even before the hearing began, things got heated with lawyers from both sides at loggerheads over an application to adjourn the trial. At one point, they even got into a shouting match.
Choy’s lead counsel Jagjit Singh sought for an adjournment saying he was recovering from a recent heart ailment and needed more time to study the documents which he had been receiving in stages.
Jagjit tendered medical certificates to the court to prove that he was medically unfit to proceed. He told the court that the documents he received included the marriage certificate, passport copies, e-mails and invoices.
“The latest set was sent to us yesterday (Aug 19), but I have not seen it until just now. I need more time to study them,” he added.
Wong Kian Kheong is leading the prosecution team on behalf of the celebrity’s husband.
Wong sought for the trial to continue and told the court that he had proposed to Jagjit to conduct cross-examinations in late October to give him time to rest and prepare for the summons charge.
“This is a case of justice and should be expedited in the interest of the public and victim. I suggest a compromise in the interest of all stakeholders. There is no prejudice towards the accused,” he remarked.
To a question by the magistrate, Pushpa said she would make a formal application to challenge the summons and the constitutionality of Section 498.
“It is archaic and no longer has a place in society. It is a total affront to women to suggest that we can be so easily enticed and so stupid enough to be enticed,” she said.
Mohd Faizi adjourned the case to today and said he would deal with Pushpa’s application when a formal application was submitted to court. Jagjit, he added, could cross-examine in October if he felt unwell today.
Iking got married on Jan 27, 2007 in Bali, and gave birth to Isobel, who is now 21 months old. Iking is a TV presenter, host and brand ambassador.