KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The government’s plan to add more special corruption courts will expedite hearings, the Chief Justice said today.
While noting that there are currently already 16 special corruption courts nationwide at the Sessions Court level, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said that it will be good to have more of such courts dedicated to only hearing and deciding on corruption cases.
“Every trial takes time to complete; we may need more so that cases can be expedited,” he said at a press conference.
He said that the judiciary has in fact been asking for such additional courts to enable cases to be disposed of quickly.
When asked if there were enough judges to preside in these additional courts if they are set up, Malanjum said: “That’s why we got to identify the right persons within the judiciary to sit in these courts.”
He added that there will be “specialised” judges entrusted with hearing only corruption cases.
“If there are too many cases, there will be specialisation, they (the judges) will just hear corruption cases so it (the court process) can be fast,” he added.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) had decided to form a special court on corruption.
In a statement today by the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) under the Prime Minister’s Department, it explained that the JKKMAR had agreed to increase the number of special corruption courts at the Sessions Court level to deal with a backlog of cases.
GIACC also explained that JKMMAR had agreed to study the formation of special corruption courts at the High Court and Court of Appeal, as such a proposal would involve the restructuring of courts.
Malanjum today said most corruption cases originated at the Sessions Court before going up to the High Court and Court of Appeal, noting that there are also some cases that can be appealed up to the Federal Court as they originated at the High Court level.