Special criminal court to facilitate disposal of child sexual crime cases within 6 months

Richard (left) in a press conference with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (centre) and Minister of Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

KUCHING, April 18: Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Panglima Richard Malanjum vows to resolve child sexual crime cases in the two states within six months.

“We hope that with the existence of this special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes Against Children, we will be able to resolve child sexual crime cases within six months as directed by the Chief Justice of the country.

“This is also to give a message that the government will not delay the prosecution of these cases,” Richard said at the launch of the second court in the country here today.

He said 119 cases of sexual crimes against children were registered in Sarawak from June last year to April 15.

As of April 16, he said 43 cases have been disposed of, describing the setting up of the special criminal court as a “good move”.

“One reason for the backlog in disposing of these cases is that judges and deputy public prosecutors had to handle other cases. Now that we have a special court, these cases can be heard and disposed of more quickly,” Richard said.

Richard added the Sarawak court has also taken the initiative to hold educational programmes in schools including rural areas through talks and briefings to provide public awareness on sexual crimes and preventive measures.

“The court will look at this as a serious issue. We will ensure that any convicted person will be ‘awarded’ with a deterrent sentence.” — DayakDaily