Special Court guideline launched

PUTRAJAYA: The government today launched a guideline book on how the Special Court for Child Sexual Crimes should conduct sexual crime cases against children.

The 103-page book was launched by minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who said the proposition for the book came personally from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

"The government is greatly concerned about sexual crimes against children and we are giving top priority to protecting them," she said.

She said this was the first time the government produced an integrated guideline for all agencies involved in handling cases involving sexual crime against minors.

The book is divided into four main topics handled by agencies and experts in the respective fields and was produced within a year.

The first topic outlines the report and investigation process by the police Sexual Crimes and Child Abuse Investigations Division.

The second topic is on trial proceedings; the third on managing the victims and witnesses; and the fourth is on the protection service and support to the victims and witnesses by the Social Welfare department.

"With these guidelines, child victims and their families will be able to know how the entire procedure at the special court and be better prepared," she said.

She added that it is the Prime Minister's hope for all relevant agencies to work together to curb these crimes against children.

On June 22, Najib officiated the first special court to deal with cases involving sexual crimes against children.

The court is located in the Palace of Justice and comes equipped with court recording transcription, a waiting room for child witnesses, live video link, child witness screens and disabled-friendly facilities.