Solid confessions, testimonies needed under Islamic law

bru syariah rbafWaqiuddin Rajak

SOLID confessions and testimonies must be obtained before offenders can be punished under the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, a senior Syariah Affairs official told police personnel at a briefing on the Islamic law yesterday.

Head of the Religious Enforcement Division Hj Hardifadhillah Hj Md Salleh said confessions were considered valid under Islamic law if the suspects were sane, adults, and were willing to confess without compulsion.

Meanwhile, testimonies had to come from witnesses who have strong memory, and have good senses of sight, touch and hearing.

These requirements, he stressed, must be met before statements can be considered absolutely true and free of doubt.

Should confessions and testimonies be backed up with the Syahadah (Islamic declaration of faith), then a specific procedure would need to be followed, he added.

Confessions and testimonies that did not meet these requirements can not be used in Syariah court, the Religious Enforcement Division head said.

However, Hj Hardifadhillah said offenders can still be found guilty of other offences if there is acceptable evidence that is not beyond reasonable doubt, such as CCTV (closed-circuit television) footage and DNA tests.

“Implementing the Syariah Penal Code is not just the responsibility shouldered by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the police, but it is also the obligation of the public as well as other relevant agencies,” he said.

There were two sessions to the briefing held at the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) headquarters in Gadong — the first one was held in the morning at the Officer’s Mess and the afternoon session was held at the Police Training Centre.

Around 850 members of the RBPF attended the sessions, which hoped to give them a basic understanding of the procedures as well as provisions needed to carry out the Syariah Penal Code.

Jointly organised by the Law and Welfare Unit, Prime Minister’s Office and the RBPF, the briefing featured panelists comprising senior officials from Islamic Legal Unit, Syariah Affairs Department, Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), Islamic Da’wah Centre and the State Mufti Department.

Present as the guest of honour during the briefing was the Commissioner of Police, Dato Seri Pahlawan Bahrin Mohd Noor.

Also present were the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mohd Jammy Hj Mohd Shah Al-Islam, directors, deputy directors and other invited guests.

The Brunei Times
Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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