Chief Justice allows video hearings for remand cases after Covid-19 spreads to prisons

Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya in this file picture taken on January 10, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya in this file picture taken on January 10, 2020. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — As the Covid-19 contagion spreads to prisons, courts nationwide will be allowed to hold video conferences for remand applications from now on.

The Federal Court’s chief registrar’s office said Chief Justice Tengku Tun Maimun Tuan Mat made the allowance in light of requests from the Prison Department after several prison staff and detainees were found to have contracted the virus.

“In this regard, Chief Justice, Tengku Tun Maimun Tuan Mat has agreed and orders that remand extension cases under Section 259 of Act 593 can be carried out through video conferencing if there are applications by the Prisons Department as the current situation is not allow the remand extension to be done face-to-face,” it said in a statement late last night.

During the proceedings by the video conference, the rights of the accused will be preserved, and the court will carry out proceedings in accordance to existing procedures.

It is hoped that handling of extension cases via video conferencing will ensure access to justice and the continuity of judicial administration can be implemented despite the current state of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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