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Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School - Green Background

Country Details

Brunei

  • Lim Boon Tak et al. v. Public Prosecutor, Brunei, High Court, 1997.
    The Court reviewed a guilty verdict against defendants under the Women and Girls Protection Act and Passport Act for forcibly bringing two women into Brunei for the purposes of prostitution.  The Court found that the Magistrate judge was did not err in relying on testimonial evidence if that evidence was found to be reliable.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Hishamuddin Bin Hj Chuchu, Brunei, High Court, 1997.
    Although the Court found that intercourse was consensual and lacked the requisite forcible element, it stated that evidence from the alleged victim is enough to corroborate a rape allegation.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Besar Bin Ahmad, Brunei, Intermediate Court of Brunei, 1996.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to raping a 16 year old female, punishable under section 376(1) of the Penal Code, and the alternative charge of attempted rape, punishable under section 376(2) of the Penal Code. The court was satisfied that the complainant’s complaint to her mother was made by her at the earliest possible moment, which was consistent with her complaint to the police and other evidence, therefore corroborating the complainant’s evidence. The court found the complainant credible, and accepted her evidence indicating that she did not consent. In addition, the complainant was examined by a doctor, who found numerous injuries and concluded in her report that there was some injury to the complainant’s vulva, which may be due to attempted sexual intercourse. The court found, however, that the doctor did not seem sure whether penetration occurred. Regarding whether there was penetration, the court found the complainant’s evidence unreliable, and therefore reasonable doubt. The court convicted the defendant of attempted rape and voluntarily causing hurt. The court imposed sentences of 10 years imprisonment and 12 strokes.
  • Public Prosecutor v. HJ Bidin Din HJ MD Noor, Brunei, High Court of Brunei, 1995.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to five charges of rape of an approximately 13 year old female, under section 376 of the Penal Code. The court emphasized that these were rapes only because of the complainant’s age, not because any force was used against her. The court noted that the fact that a rape is committed with consent does not lower the standard of proof which is required of the act itself. The court reasoned that it would be dangerous to convict in reliance on the complainant’s evidence, which had several inconsistencies. Additionally, the testimony of an examining doctor showed that the complainant’s evidence was suspect. The complainant denied having had sexual intercourse with anyone in the date range at issue, which did not agree with the evidence of the examining doctor, which the court accepted. The court found that if she cannot be believed as to that, it could not rely on her uncorroborated evidence on any of the charges. The defendant was acquitted of all five charges and the court ordered his discharge.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Mohd Tamin Bin HJ Ahmad, Brunei, Intermediate Court of Brunei, 1995.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to three charges consisting of (i) attempted rape, under section 376 of the Penal Code, (ii) causing harm, under section 323 of the Penal Code, and (iii) theft of personal property, under section 379 of the Penal Code. The court found the complainant credible, and her version of the events consistent with a note she wrote shortly after the incident and her evidence in court, despite minor discrepancies and details left out in the note. On the contrary, the court found the defendant’s version far-fetched and unacceptable. Corroborating evidence for the complainant included her distressed condition as observed by a witness immediately after the incident, her note, the injuries a doctor found on her and the discovery of her torn underwear on the road-side. The court found that the defendant made an effort to have sexual intercourse with the complainant against her will and without her consent. The court convicted the defendant of (i) attempted rape, with a sentence of six years imprisonment and four strokes, (ii) causing hurt, with a sentence of one month imprisonment and (iii) theft, with a sentence of three months imprisonment. The sentences were to run concurrently.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Sapar Bin Badau, Brunei, Intermediate Court of Brunei, 1995.
    The defendant was charged with two charges of rape of his daughter, under section 375 of the Penal Code. According to the complainant, her father first raped her when she was 12 years old and he raped her about 9 to 12 times in a month. The court found that the evidence did not support the complainant’s allegation that she was raped by the defendant, and that her evidence was uncorroborated. The court further found that the complainant had not been telling the truth in several instances, which made her evidence questionable. The court highlighted that, although the complainant claimed she was raped about 500 times by her father since 1989, nobody ever saw the parties together in one of their rooms, nor the complainant in a distressed condition. The court found it dangerous to convict the defendant by relying solely on the uncorroborated evidence of the complainant. The court acquitted the defendant of the two charges and discharged him.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Khairul Bin Haji Dagang, Brunei, Intermediate Court of Brunei, 1994.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to two charges of rape of a 14 year old female and a 24 year old female, under section 376 of the Penal Code. Regarding the first charge, the court accepted the first complainant’s evidence. Corroboration that she did not consent included fresh abrasions found by a doctor on the defendant’s arms and chest, the crying and distress of said complainant as observed by several witnesses very soon after the incident and the promptness of the complaints made by her. The court held the defendant guilty of having sexual intercourse with said complainant against her will or without her consent, imposing a sentence of seven years imprisonment and six strokes. The court also accepted the second complainant’s evidence. Corroboration that she did not consent included her sad condition and her crying as observed by a witness immediately after the incident, and the complaints she made to said witness, her mother, brother and the police. The court found that the defendant said threatening words which had put her in fear of death or hurt. The court held the defendant guilty of aggravated rape of said complainant, imposing a sentence of nine years imprisonment and 14 strokes. The sentences as to each rape were to run consecutively.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Billy Metussin, Brunei, High Court of Brunei, 1993.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to one charge of attempted rape of an 11 years and 10 months old female, under section 376(1) of the Penal Code. The court found that the complainant gave different versions as to the events that occurred. It found the complainant’s evidence unreliable. The court concluded that the complainant was the initiator of the events that led to the attempted intercourse. The court found that there was an attempt at sexual intercourse. In view of medical evidence that revealed that the hymen was intact and that ejaculation may have occurred outside the complainant, the court found doubt as to whether penetration occurred. The court highlighted that consent was not a defense to rape as the complainant was under the age of 14 at the time at issue. Nonetheless, consent becomes relevant to punishment, as a minimum sentence is prescribed for rape which occurs “without the consent of the victim”. The court found that the complainant gave her consent to the defendant’s attempt to have sexual intercourse with her and that she gave a real consent, not vitiated by immaturity or by any of the other factors specified in section 90 P.C. The court convicted the defendant of attempted rape and imposed sentences of one year imprisonment and three strokes.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Intol Bin Langgar, Brunei, Intermediate Court of Brunei, 1993.
    The defendant was charged with two charges of rape of the complainant, a 14 year old female, punishable under section 376(1) of the Penal Code, and two charges of unlawful carnal knowledge with a girl under 16 years old, an offence under section 2 of the Unlawful Carnal Knowledge Act (Cap. 29). DNA and other forensic evidence indicated that the defendant was the biological father of the complainant’s child. While that evidence alone could not prove rape, the complainant’s evidence, consisting largely of her testimony, was found credible despite minor discrepancies in the testimony of her various witnesses. The court held that the prosecution had proved beyond the reasonable doubt the four charges against the defendant, and he was accordingly convicted. The court sentenced the defendant to 10 years imprisonment on the first and second charge, and four years imprisonment on the third and fourth charge, to run concurrently. A total sentence of imprisonment was 10 years was imposed.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Zulkifli Bin Sabang, Brunei, Intermediate Court of Brunei, 1993.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape of a 12 year old female, under section 376 of the Penal Code. The complainant alleged that the defendant penetrated her on all three occasions. However, with regard to the first and second occasions, the complainant’s evidence was uncorroborated. As the court was not prepared to convict in the absence of evidence of penetration, the defendant was acquitted on both the first and second charges. The court accepted that there was some corroboration on the third charge, including a DNA report in connection with a pregnancy and an ‘admission’ by the defendant made to a witness who the court found truthful. The court believed the complainant that she did not consent to the sexual intercourse with the defendant, noting that because consent is not defense to a rape of an individual under the age of 14 years, the complainant’s consent was relevant only to the sentencing. The court held that the third charge was proven beyond reasonable doubt against the defendant and convicted him accordingly. The court imposed a sentence of nine years imprisonment with 14 strokes.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Abdullah Bin HJ Yakub, Brunei, High Court of Brunei, 1991.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to two charges of raping a 14 year old female, under sections 376(1) and (2) of the Penal Code, and having carnal knowledge of a female under the age of 16 years, under Section 2 of the Unlawful Carnal Knowledge Act, Cap. 29. The fact of sexual intercourse was not disputed. However, because the complainant was under 14 years old when the offences occurred, her consent was not relevant to the charge of rape. Nonetheless, because of her consent, the defendant was acquitted of the charge of aggravated rape. The court convicted the defendant of rape, and imposed a sentence of four years imprisonment and six strokes. The court also convicted the defendant of having carnal knowledge of a female under the age of 16 years, and imposed a sentence of three years imprisonment and six strokes. The sentences of imprisonment were concurrent, with the defendant to serve four years total. The sentences of whipping were consecutive, with the defendant to receive 12 strokes total.
  • Public Prosecutor v. Yaha Bin Mansor, Brunei, High Court of Brunei, 1991.
    The defendant pleaded not guilty to (i) two charges of attempted rape and (ii) two charges of rape, punishable under section 376 of the Penal Code. The prosecution withdrew the fourth charge during the trial. The court noted that since the complainant was under the age of 14 at the time of each alleged incident, her consent was not relevant. As the court found no corroboration of the complainant’s evidence, it had to rely upon her credibility. The court found that the complainant was exaggerating when she claimed that the defendant attempted to rape her. The court did not agree that he did more than commit an act of indecency under Section 354 P.C., which contains the offence of assault or criminal force used on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. The court acquitted the defendant of attempted rape and rape, but convicted him of the offence of indecency for all three charges. He was sentenced to three years and four strokes for each of the three charges, which are cumulative and consecutive sentences. The defendant was ordered to serve a total of nine years and suffer a total of 12 strokes, with a reduction for time already spent in custody.