Following a full month of investigation, independent preacher (Pencetus Ummah/PU) Azman Syah was brought before the Sessions Court yesterday on five charges of physical sexual abuse committed unto two young men, aged 16 and 17 respectively.
Azman, or Cik Man, 41, however pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faced before Judge Datin Surita Budin.
The accused, a famed actor who has worked alongside the likes of Remy Ishak and Mira Filzah, also thanked and expressed appreciation for the prayers from all parties when met with reporters outside the courtroom.
“Thank you for being patient, and Cik Man deeply appreciates the prayers from everyone,” he said after settling his bail payment at 2.40 p.m. yesterday.
According to the charges read before him, Azman is accused of committing extreme acts of obscenity against the 17-year-old victim in the living room and toilet of a house in Nilai at 3 to 5 a.m. on July 6 this year.
Azman is also facing two other charges of physically assaulting another victim aged 16 years and 10 months in a room between 8.30 p.m. and 12 midnight last February 5, as well as in the living room of the same house between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on July 6.
For the three offenses, Azman was charged under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offenses Against Children Act 2017 which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years as well as a caning.
Azman, clad in a dark blue kurta, reportedly appeared calm throughout the proceedings. The accused appeared in court accompanied by lawyer Mohamad Zahid Ahmad, his sister, and his brother-in-law.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor, Husni Fairos Ramly applied for a bail of RM15,000 for each charge for an offense under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offenses Against Children Act 2017.
Mohamad Zahid, however, appealed for a lower bail on the grounds that his client’s income was affected after the man was remanded last month and therefore required the financial aid of his family.
“He was present today (in court) and cooperated well. The accused is currently single and supports his family in Rantau, Seremban,” he explained.
The court allowed the accused to be bailed at RM40,000 for all charges with the condition that he is prohibited from approaching the victims and prosecution witnesses until the case has seen its conclusion. The accused was also ordered to report to the nearest police station on the first Saturday of every month and hand over his passport to the court.
The mention of the case is set for December 8.
Additionally, the Negeri Sembilan Police noted that two reports regarding acts of sexual assault committed by an independent preacher towards teen boys were made on September 11. Four similar reports were also received from minors around the areas of Klang, Shah Alam and Kajang on August 30.