PUTRAJAYA, Jan 11 — The practice of broadcasting “live” proceedings in high-profile court cases to the public may not be suitable in Malaysia in consideration of the rights of those on trial, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said today.
While acknowledging the advantages of having a “live” broadcast of trials for public viewing, the Chief Justice said the judiciary may instead consider providing regular written updates on high-profile cases.
“It is a good idea to have cameras in proceedings like the OJ Simpson’s murder case but you must consider whether it is good for the accused. Maybe they do not like being filmed.
“So what we are hoping to do in order to provide the media and public clear information on ongoing high-profile cases is to issue written bulletins from time to time,” he told a news conference after opening the legal year 2019 at Putrajaya Marriott hotel here.
He said the frequency of the bulletin issuance will be situational and depending on existing high-profile cases.
The pursuit, arrest and trial of the Simpson case were among the most widely publicised events in American history following extensive media and “live” camera coverage from the beginning.
Malaysia currently does not practice “live” telecast of court trials.
Asked later for clarification, Malanjum replied the existing practice of broadcasting “live” through a video-link room for reporters will remain.
Due to current space constraints, the video-link room caters to journalists who may not be seated inside the courtroom during the trial of high-profile cases.
In November last year, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said state-owned news and television channels will not be broadcasting “live” telecasts of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s court trials due to the limited number of channels by RTM and state news providers Bernama TV.