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173 jailed for sexually abusing children, since July 2017

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A man who faced 623 charges for sodomising and sexually abusing his 15-year-old daughter, was among 173 individuals sent to jail by the special court set up nearly two years ago to hear sexual crimes against children.

According to The Star, the figure represents a portion of 405 convictions handed down by the special court in Putrajaya and the second special court in Kuching.

The report quoted figures from the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Malaysia, which recorded a total of 841 cases registered at both courts in the same period of time.

"As of now, 641 cases have been disposed, leaving 200 cases remaining for hearing," the office reportedly said on figures for up to February this year, from July 2017 when the first Special Criminal Court on Sexual Crimes Against Children began its operations.

Its second branch was set up in Kuching in April last year, with reported plans to have 12 branches of the special court for each state in the country.

"Currently, other remaining courts are still in the process of being set up," the office of the Chief Registrar was quoted as saying.

It added that the special courts have a timeline of 12 months to dispose of cases to ensure that justice is meted out without unnecessary delay.

"The office of the Chief Registrar of Federal Court Malaysia also strives to provide a conducive and witness-friendly environment to the child victims and witnesses who have to attend court to testify.

"This will enable the child to be more comfortable coming to court to give statements without being intimidated by the court setting," the office further said.

In the meantime, child sex crime cases in other states will continue to be registered at the Sessions Courts.

According to The Star, between July 2017 and February this year, a total of 2,466 cases of sexual crimes against children were registered nationwide, with 369 convictions.

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