PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has officially launched the Special Criminal Court which will handle cases involving sexual crimes against children.
"This court is the first of its kind, not only in Malaysia but also in South-East Asia," he said in his speech here Thursday.
The first case is expected to be heard on July 4.
The special court, located at the Palace of Justice, will hear cases from Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya involving underaged children as victims.
"We will expand this special court gradually to all 13 states in the country," Najib said at the launch on Thursday.
The new court will be presided over by a senior Sessions Court judge with 25 years experience in service.
The Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor also launched a special waiting room for child witnesses.
The waiting room also includes a smaller room for vulnerable young witnesses to testify behind cameras.
Among those present at the launch were Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, Dewan Negara speaker Datuk Seri S.A. Vigneswaran and Minister at the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.