Section 112 Criminal Procedure Code Statement Explained
23 September 2020
Investigations on Al Jazeera’s 101 East Programme – ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’
On 10 July 2020, seven Al Jazeera journalists who were involved in a current-affairs programme about Malaysia's treatment of undocumented workers during the Covid-19 pandemic were asked by the police to have their statements recorded by the investigative team at the country’s police headquarters, Bukit Aman.
The programme called, “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown” was broadcast on 3 July 2020 on Al Jazeera’s multi-award winning programme 101 East.
It was widely reported both in the mainstream media and social media that Al Jazeera and its journalists were being investigated for sedition under the Sedition Act 1948, defamation under the Penal Code and violation of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Section 112 Criminal Procedure Code (“CPC”) Statement Explained
The journalists’ statements were recorded under a procedure prescribed in section 112 of the Criminal Procedure Code (“112 Statement”). This provision provides for the recording of statements from witnesses by the police. Before a 112 Statement is taken, the police must first inform the person that he or she is bound to answer all questions relating to the case in question, that he may refuse to answer any question the answer to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty or forfeiture, and he is legally bound to state the truth, whether or not the statement is made wholly or partly in answer to questions.
Section 112 of the CPC reads:-
“Examination of witnesses by police 112.
- A police officer making a police investigation under this Chapter may examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case and shall reduce into writing any statement made by the person so examined.
- Such person shall be bound to answer all questions relating to the case put to him by that officer: Provided that such person may refuse to answer any question the answer to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty or forfeiture.
- A person making a statement under this section shall be legally bound to state the truth, whether or not such statement is made wholly or partly in answer to questions.
- A police officer examining a person under subsection (1) shall first inform that person of the provisions of subsections (2) and (3).
- A statement made by any person under this section shall, whenever possible, be taken down in writing and signed by the person making it or affixed with his thumbprint as the case may be, after it has been read to him in the language in which he made it and after he has been given an opportunity to make any corrections he may wish.”
The CPC is silent on the right of a lawyer to be present during the recording of a 112 Statement. It is advisable for the person giving his statement to have his lawyer present. Upon finishing the 112 Statement, the interviewee will be given the opportunity to amend his statement and/or add to his statement before signing on the statement to confirm that it is his statement. A 112 Statement is of critical importance in the event criminal charges are proffered as it is the first opportunity to put on record the defence and adds to the credibility of the statement.
Our Leong Wai Hong, Nimalan Devaraja, Manshan Singh and Karen Tan acted for Al Jazeera and the journalists.
You may contact partner, Leong Wai Hong (email@example.com), and associate, Karen Tan (firstname.lastname@example.org), for enquiries.