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PM admits weaknesses
B. Suresh Ram
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also the internal security minister, said the shortcomings included:
* weaknesses in case investigations which involved testimony collection methods and acceptable evidence;
* problems with regards to the main witnesses who had either disappeared or could not be traced; and
* lack of experienced legal prosecution officers.
In a written reply to Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) in the Dewan Rakyat, Abdullah said the government had taken a number of steps, which included:
* establishing a task force in the Attorney-General's Chambers, made up of senior and experienced officers in the field of prosecution;
"The move would enable the deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) to be involved in their respective cases in the initial stages so that prosecution could be undertaken effectively," he said.
* continued comprehensive training for DPPs locally and abroad to enhance their skills in fields such as DNA analysis, drugs, autopsy, violence, cross border crime, commercial crime, and encouraging them to take up masters study in such areas;
* plans to hold virtual training with the
In addition, cooperation is also being forged with the University of Nottingham Trent, United Kingdom, and University Wollongong, Australia, for the same purpose.
* improving the quality of case investigation by the police force, through courses and training in relation to cases involving commercial crime, sexual and cyber offences, forensic training as well as on-the-spot investigations.
Abdullah also said lower-ranked police personnel were being given basic investigative training to increase their effectiveness.
On another matter, he said that last year, the High Court tried 325 criminal cases, with the prosecution successfully obtaining conviction and punishment for 241 or 74.1% of the cases. At the sessions courts level, of the 896 cases filed, the prosecution won conviction and punishment for 644 or 86.1% of the cases. sun2surf