The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday began enacting the new policy of appointing lawyers to individuals being arrested for terrorism allegations.
According to the new policy created under the anti-terrorism act, the accused has to be informed of his right to appoint a lawyer when the miranda rights are being read. However, during meetings with lawyer’s, a police officer is to be present at a distance where they could be seen.
The policy further states that initially the accused would be given six hours to bring in a lawyer. During this period, the police would not be allowed to question the person. Even after the six-hour period expires, the police can only begin questioning if a valid reason for the lawyers absence cannot be given.
The new policy also lists three acceptable reasons for a lawyer’s absence. The first is if the lawyer is not in that particular island when the time expires. The next is the accused threatening the lawyer, and the third is a breach of trust between the lawyer and the accused.
An additional six hours will also be granted if the lawyer is not present due to above reasons. Even if the lawyer is absent due to negligence, the accused would still be granted this time.
After the second chance if the lawyer does not show up, then the police can start the interrogation process.
Additionally, the policy also stipulates that state should provide a lawyer is the accused is unable to bear the cost of hiring a lawyer.