62 sexual crime cases filed in special children’s court

azalina-othman_law_child_600KUALA LUMPUR: As many as 62 cases of sexual crimes against children have been registered in the Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children in Putrajaya since it began operating on July 4.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman said of these, 11 cases had been resolved while 25 were mentioned and 26 were still being tried.

“The cases registered with the Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children will be settled or disposed of within a year from the date they are registered with the court.”

She said this when replying to Dr Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong), who asked about the number of cases of sexual crimes against children, which had been tried so far at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

Azalina said the government planned to extend in stages the special court to conduct proceedings of sexual crimes involving children throughout the country.

The first Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children was set up in Malaysia, the first in Southeast Asia, to hear and decide on cases in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya,

On the court’s infrastructure, she said the one in Putrajaya was equipped with special facilities like court recording transcription (CRT), an audio-visual system, a child witness room, as well as a child witness waiting room (Permata room).

“The special facilities are very important to assist the court proceedings in the special court so as to ensure that the trials are carried out quickly and effectively.

“The audio-visual system will help child witnesses be more comfortable when providing evidence in open court while they are in a separate room, and to help the public prosecutor and lawyers conduct the court proceedings,” she said.

The infrastructure and special facilities in the child witness room and the child witness waiting room in Putrajaya, that were sponsored by the Permata Foundation, is a child-friendly room which enables child witnesses and victims to attend court hearings without becoming upset.

Azalina said a working committee, comprising representatives from the Royal Malaysia Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the women, family and community development ministry, as well non-governmental organisations for children, will be formed to draw up special and comprehensive guidelines for sexual cases against children.