New department to deal with family issues of criminal nature


Saudi Gazette report

— A new department for family issues is being developed by the Public Prosecutor's Office to look into specific cases including those of a criminal nature that are beyond personal status issues, Al-Watan Arabic daily reported quoting high-level security sources.

The new body will increase the number of departments under the Public Prosecution to 12, the paper said, adding that the new department would deal with issues of a criminal nature, while personal status issues would not come under its jurisdiction.

There are special courts to deal with personal status issues, the source said.

The prosecution would conduct investigations and present report to the court, leveling charges against defendants. It will carry out its duties in accordance with specific rules and regulations.

The source confirmed that the Public Prosecution has the authority to monitor and inspect prisons and detention centers and listen to the complaints of detainees.

"It must ascertain the legality of imprisonment of the detainees and the legality of their continued detention after serving their terms," the source said.

The Public Prosecution must take necessary measures to release individuals who were either jailed or detained without a legitimate reason. If the organization is given the task of other cases, it should investigate them before the defendants are produced in the court. These cases include those related to bribery, forgery and other crimes.

Legal advisor and lawyer Omar Al-Khouli explained that the establishment of a department for family issues would allow authorities to intervene in cases of domestic violence effectively and efficiently.

He proposed the establishment of an independent entity for improving relations within families. However, there is nothing wrong if the Public Prosecution intervenes to reconcile between belligerent family members, guide them and convince them to settle their issues without taking the matter to the court, Al-Khouli said while speaking to Al-Watan.

Family issues include matters related to accepting daughters after their release from prison and its intervention to convince families to welcome their daughters back and forgive their mistakes, and narrow the differences between them and their families.

The department will also deal with issues such as runaway girls, infidelity and other issues with a criminal dimension.

Other departments of the Public Prosecution deal with matters such as attack on individuals, honor and morality, drugs and psychotropic substances, economic crimes, juvenile and family issues, international cooperation and national security.