Thursday, November 22, 2007

Expediting remand cases (The Star)

This means that about 13,960 innocent persons are languishing in jail/prison - WHY Innocent - because everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Remand prisoners are those whose trial may not have begun, in the middle of their trial ---- but in all cases these are persons that have not been found guilty by a court of law and sentenced yet.

Most of these persons are poor persons - i.e. those who do not have a surety capable of raising the bail sum - and sometimes the bail sum could be only RM1,000 or RM2,000.

It is the cases of these persons that must be made PRIORITY - and should be disposed off soonest - definitely before SIX(6) MONTHS. How many have languished months(even years) in remand prison - only be later found to be innocent by a court of law and released. It is a sad state of affairs and the government must do something about this.

Expediting remand cases
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Thursday, 22 November 2007, 07:24am

Datuk Fu Ah KiowOsama freed

©The Star

THE Internal Security Ministry is working closely with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and courts to expedite the 13,880 remand cases or 34.2% of the total number of prisoners in the country.

Deputy Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow told Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut) that foreign prisoners could not be jailed in their home countries.

“This is because the foreign governments refused to accept them, and we cannot allow these prisoners to think that they can be sent back and be freed without being punished here first,” he added.

Fu said the prisons were now holding 40,821 prisoners, or 30% more than the ideal capacity of around 31,200 people.

In addition, 5,669 illegal immigrants were being held in 11 detention depots managed by the Prisons Department, he said.

Among the steps taken to settle the problem of overcrowding in prisons are increasing the capacity of existing prisons and constructing 16 more under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“The ministry hopes that the new prisons will be able to house 15,400 more prisoners by 2010.

“The Johor government has agreed to the reopening of the Johor Baru prison on Jan 1 next year, which will house about 1,000 remand prisoners,” he told Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Tun Said (BN-Kota Belud).

Fu said the introduction of the parole system, which requires prisoners to do social services activities, would help to reduce overcrowding.

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