A special court to deal with human trafficking issues will be established this year with the first one in Klang, Selangor, said Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif.

PUTRAJAYA: A special court to handle human trafficking issues will be set up by mid-year, with the first one in Klang, Selangor.

Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif said there was a need to establish a special court for human trafficking cases, to be presided by a Sessions Court judge, as the statistics had shown a drastic rise in such cases.

"It is crucial to have a specialised court to deal with human trafficking cases because based on our experience, specialised courts do better (in solving a case) than normal courts."

“Sometimes, the witnesses will be in custody and we have to deal with this as soon as possible. We must do a pilot project and learn from it before establishing it in phases,” he said after opening the Judicial Year 2018, here, today.

He said the pilot project is expected to begin in May or June. There are also plans to establish the same court at other states such as in Ipoh, Melaka, Muar, Kota Kinabalu and Balik Pulau, which will be done in stages by this year.

On another matter, Raus said a timeline of one year has been set for Specialised Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children to solve such cases.

He said the Child Sexual Crimes Court, which was established in April last year, has solved 287 of 357 cases within six months.

When asked if the one year timeline would disrupt the judicial process, he said cases involving children should not be delayed any further as it would affect their memory.

“We must give justice to the victims. We always think about the accused and never thought of the victims.

"Let say if the case remain unsolved for years. When the victim, especially girl, has grown up, she may feel ashamed to tell (in court) about her traumatising experience when she was a child. This is unfair for her.

"That is why we want all these cases to be solved within year. We need to expedite the process because the courts need to hear what has happened from the children’s minds when the case is still fresh." he said.

Raus said a new court complex was expected to be ready in Sabah this March, would also include a special court room to hear child sexual crimes cases.

Twelve other such courts will be established nationwide in four phases by year-end.

Translated from Berita Harian

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