PUTRAJAYA – The judiciary will continue to assign lawyers to represent those facing charges which carry the death penalty, including foreigners, if they cannot afford to hire one, says Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.
“If it is a capital punishment case, we (the judiciary) have to assign (a lawyer). That one, the government gives priority. Don’t worry. It is people’s life,” he said when asked if payments of legal fees to court-appointed lawyers were affected following allocation cuts to ministries.
Arifin was met after the launch of the coffee table book, ‘Palace of Justice Putrajaya Malaysia’ at the Palace of Justice, here, today.
Those who face charges carrying capital punishment must be represented by lawyers if they cannot afford to engage counsel.
In Malaysia, the death penalty is mandatory for murder, drug trafficking and offences related to security.
It was reported that based on statistics from the Prisons Department, as of Feb 21 this year, a total of 1,122 prisoners had been found guilty and sentenced to death by the courts.
Sixteen inmates – 14 Malaysians and two foreigners – had been executed between 2014 and Feb 21 this year.
From the total, 15 prisoners were sentenced to death for murder and the other, for crime involving firearms.