CJ launches special court for human trafficking

KLANG: Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif inaugurated a special court to handle human trafficking cases, here, today.

A brainchild of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the existence of the special court would help expedite cases related to human trafficking, he said during the inauguration ceremony at the Klang Court Complex.

"A specialised court to deal with human trafficking cases is very crucial as it enables cases to be disposed of faster compared to normal courts.

"There are instances whereby witnesses will be in custody and there is a need to deal with this as soon as possible. This is where the special courts come in," he told reporters after launching the special court.

Also present were Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun among others.

While five more special courts will be set up within the year in Ipoh, Perak; Balik Pulau, Penang; Melaka; Muar, Johor and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Md Raus said Klang was selected as the location for the pioneer court as statistics wise, Selangor has the highest concentration of human trafficking cases registered among all the other states in Malaysia.

He also announced Session judge Datuk Unaizah Mohd as the judge for the new court and has tasked her to preside over 12 cases registered in the new court.

While 64 human trafficking cases pending in Selangor will be resolved in their present courts.

"Only senior sessions court judges with at least 25 years of experience in the judicial and legal service are qualified to preside in the special court on human trafficking.

"When judges at the specialised courts can concentrate on these cases only, we are (more) confident that cases can be disposed of within nine months," he added.

In 2017, human trafficking cases recorded 147 convictions, 282 cases and 676 arrests nationwide.