PUTRAJAYA, Sept 13 — Effective September 15, all suspects must have lawyers present in court during remand proceedings, Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said.

She said the case investigating officer must ensure suspects have appointed a lawyer who also must have been informed earlier to be present for the proceedings.

“As for suspects not represented by lawyers or are unable to appoint one, they will be informed by the magistrate of their rights to obtain legal aid service from the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK) if the suspect is a Malaysian citizen and not investigated under any preventive, kidnapping or abduction laws,” she said in the Chief Justice’s Practice Direction No. 11 2021 on remand proceedings under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code dated Sept 10.

Tengku Maimun said the new directives will take effect this Wednesday, revoking previous directives issued in 2003 and 2012.

Besides this, she said remand proceedings must be postponed to a reasonable time on the same day to allow lawyers representing the suspect to attend proceedings.

However, Tengku Maimun said the remand hearing will proceed if suspects do not wish to be represented or their lawyers failed to turn up within the reasonable time period given.

She said before remand proceedings are heard before the magistrate, the investigating officer must ensure that the remand application has been filed through the e-Kehakiman system, including a copy of the investigation diary, and to also ensure that the suspect is present for the proceeding.

Besides these, Tengku Maimun said during remand proceedings, suspects must also be inquired about their health condition.

“If the magistrate finds that the suspect needs medical treatment, the investigation officer must ensure that the suspect is brought to hospital for examination and appropriate treatment,” she said.

Tengku Maimun said if there is no magistrate available, remand order applications involving crimes punishable by death, or 14 years imprisonment and above, high profile suspects, cases of public interest and cases under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 must be handled by an ex officio magistrate.

“An ex officio magistrate can be a Sessions Court Judge, High Court Deputy Registrar and Senior Assistant Registrar (for remand applications in Peninsular Malaysia), Senor Assistant Registrar of the Subordinate Courts or any other officials listed under the Fourth Schedule of the Subordinate Courts Act 1948,” she said.

Tengku Maimun said remand proceedings should be conducted in court or at any detention centre that has been gazetted for remand purposes on a daily basis including weekends and public holidays. — Bernama