APRIL 24, 2003 THU

Umno man charged in abortion case

KUANTAN - An Umno politician has been charged in court with aiding and abetting a 20-year-old woman to undergo an abortion and with burying the body to conceal the child's birth.
A STEADYING hand for handcuffed Farah Adura, 20, as she arrives to face a magistrate on Tuesday charged with having aborted her child at five months. She faces a maximum jail term of 10 years if found guilty. -- UTUSAN MALAYSIA

Abdul Raof Tahir, 64, a businessman from Bentong, pleaded innocent at a magistrate's court here on Tuesday to the charge of aiding and abetting Farah Adura in the offence at a women's clinic in Mentakab, between 5 pm on April 7 and 1 pm the following day.
Utusan Malaysia also said the politician had been accused of trying to conceal the birth of a child by burying the body behind a house in Bentong on April 8.
Farah Adura was charged in the same court with aborting the child she had been carrying for five months.
The offence carries a maximum jail term of 10 years or a fine, or both.
Raof also faces a similar sentence if he is convicted of aiding and abetting the woman in the abortion at the private clinic.
For concealing the birth and burying the body, he is liable upon conviction to two years' jail or a fine, or both.
The two were brought to the magistrate's court separately. Magistrates were not told about the relationship between the two, who were allowed bail.
Prosecuting officer Chief Inspector P. Nallasamy said outside the court that the doctor who performed the abortion had been arrested and released on RM5,000 (S$2,300) bail.
The doctor complained of chest pains after his arrest last week and had been admitted to the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur.
Pahang Mentri Besar and state Umno chief Adnan Yaakob said he would refer Raof's case to the party's disciplinary committee.
'This case has been brought to court. It has nothing to do with the party,' he said.