Providence Law Asia’s Mr Abraham Vergis worked alongside Ms Sadhana Rai from the Law Society Pro Bono Services in successfully acquitting Mohd Ariffan Mohd of sexual assault, rape and aggravated molest.
Ariffan, who is now 59, was charged with two counts of sexual assault by penetration, two counts of rape and one count of aggravated molestation.
Following an acquittal by the High Court, the Prosecution — led by Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair and Deputy Public Prosecutor Charlene Tay — appealed against the decision. The apex court agreed with Senior Judge Kan Ting Chiu that the Prosecution had not proven the charges.
The appeal judges — Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash and Judge of Appeal Andrew Phang — agreed with the High Court judge’s assessment and ruled that Ariffan’s alleged victim was not an unusually convincing witness on several grounds. In a 47-page written judgment, Justice Prakash said that while sexual assault victims have good reasons to delay reporting the offences, the judges were troubled by the major inconsistencies and contradictories in her story.