All suspects have right to lawyers: BIP chief
JEDDAH — The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution has said all suspects in criminal cases have the right to appoint their own lawyers to defend them.
Head of the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah said according to Article 4 of the Rules of Penal Procedures, all suspects of crimes must have their rights read to them upon arrest.
“Arrested individuals have the right for an attorney during the investigation and trial. They also have the right to make a phone call to an individual of their choice to inform them of their arrest. The police officer or whoever representing the security authority must ask the suspect to sign a document confirming that his rights were read to him. If the suspect refused to sign the paper, then the officer must note down that the suspect had refused to sign it,” said Al-Abdullah.
National Society for Human Rights Tarahum Lawyers Committee head lawyer Ashraf Al-Siraj said Article 4 is an important step in protecting the rights of criminals and suspects.
“Just because someone has committed a crime that does not rob him of his rights as a human being. Article 4 will create a more secure environment for the suspects and criminals now that they know they have every right to call for a lawyer and inform their families of their whereabouts,” said Al-Siraj.
Lawyer Nabil Qamlu said the announcement of Sheikh Al-Abdullah is another feather in the cap of the Saudi legal system.
“A recent survey showed that 88 percent of arrested criminals do not know what their rights are. Article 4 will be a good move for the legal system. However, any new law must be supervised in order for it to be fully implemented. The bureau must have in place a system or a procedure to ensure that police officers do comply to Article 4,” said Qamlu.