National coach charged with raping diver

National coach charged with raping diver
Huang Qiang at the Jalan Duta Court Complex earlier today. - Astro AWANI/Shahir Omar
KUALA LUMPUR: National diving squad coach, Huang Qiang, was today charged with raping a 20-year-old national diver at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil, here, in September this year.

The 35-year-old, clad in a red collared-T shirt and yellow short pants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge read to him in Mandarin before judge Wan Mohd Norisham Wan Yaakob.

Huang, originally from China but has obtained Malaysian citizenship, had allegedly raped the victim at the dry gym, Diving Gymnasium at the National Aquatic Centre, National Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil at 5.30pm on Sept 26.

The charge under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, if convicted.

Deputy public prosecutor Hafizza Sauni did not offer any bail, taking into consideration a number of factors, including the relationship between the accused and the victim as he was her coach.
"This case also involves witnesses coached by the accused, hence posing the risk of disturbance to the prosecution witnesses, especially the victim.

"The accused has been given Malaysian citizenship but he is originally a China citizen and has family members in China, so there is a risk of him fleeing this country," the DPP said.

However, Hafizza said, if the court allowed the accused bail, the prosecution was offering bail of RM50,000 with two Malaysian sureties and setting additional conditions, namely the accused cannot disturb the victim and witnesses, not be present within the sports training area in Bukit Jalil, to surrender his passport to the court and to report himself to the nearest police twice a month.

Counsel Mohd Hisham Md Nen asked that the accused be allowed bail on grounds the accused has two children aged six years and 16 months, and that his client was willing to abide by whatever additional conditions set by the court.

Lawyer Cheow Wee, holding watching brief for the victim, asked the court to set conditions that the accused would not contact and go near the victim, and for the media not to reveal the name of the victim as the victim is currently undergoing training for the Olympic Games with the elite squad.

Judge Wan Mohd Norisham allowed the accused bail of RM50,000 with two Malaysian sureties and set the additional conditions that the accused must surrender his passport to the court; must report himself to the nearest police station twice a month, on the 1st and 16th, and is forbidden from disturbing, contacting or threatening the victim and the other prosecution witnesses.

"If there are reports (of violation) of the conditions from the victim or any of the other witnesses, bail will be withdrawn. The media are also ordered not to disclose the name of the victim who will be competing in the Olympic Games," said the judge who also fixed Nov 6 for case mention.

The accused was apprehended at the National Sports Council Complex by a CID team from the Kuala Lumpur contingent police headquarters at 12.30pm on Oct 2 after a police report was lodged by the victim's parents on Sept 29 on the alleged rape.

Earlier at today's proceeding, the accused who appeared calm and was smiling, was seen waving and nodding his head at a young woman and an elderly man, believed to be his family members, when he was brought to the dock. -- Bernama