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(File pix) Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. Pix by Nazran Jamel

KUALA LUMPUR: No child sexual crimes cases are protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) by the courts, says the Prime Minister's Department.

Its minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, however said that Section 15 of the Child Act 2001 prohibits any media report from including details that would lead to the identification of the children in any proceeding, regardless of whether they were victims, witnesses or suspects.

Azalina, who is also Pengerang member of Parliament (BN), was responding to a supplementary question from Batu Kawan MP (DAP) Kasthuri Patto who asked if there are any child sexual crime cases involving influential individuals, that are protected under the OSA.

"I cannot answer this as it is not within my jurisdiction but I will inform other relevant ministries. (However), under the courts, no such case has been protected under OSA except for those that fall under Section 15 of the Child's Act," she told the Parliament today.

Earlier, Azalina said the Special Court for Child Sexual Crimes will be expanded in stages to all states in the country. The implementation will begin in Sarawak, Selangor and Johor, based on statistical figures.

She said since the court's inception on June 22 until Sept 8, a total of 293 cases had been filed and 84 per cent (248 cases) had been disposed within three months.

She also said child sexual crimes were often committed by those the victims are familiar with, including their family members.

"Section 16 of Act 792 (sexual offences against children) provided punishment for those who abused reltionships of trust.

"The details of victims and the accused for cases from June 22 to Sept 8 in terms of relationship are as follows: one case involving the victim's father, three cases involving the victims' stepfathers and 10 cases involving outsiders," she added.

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