U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur’s Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) joined with Director General Abdul Kadir bin Abu Hashim of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) for a ceremony certifying four PERHILITAN officers as expert witnesses in tiger snares. The certification was a result of a recent Department of Justice, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) workshop, held in conjunction with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and PERHILITAN, on “Countering Wildlife Crime through Enhanced Awareness of Poaching Weapons: Snares and Traps.” The workshop was attended by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges.
Previously, law enforcement officers lacked any formal certification and as such, were not recognized in court as experts when they testified in tiger snare prosecutions. Working together, the Director General and the RLA created a workshop which addressed this gap. The workshop included trial advocacy skills, and snare identification techniques.
The Director General noted that the officers represent Malaysia’s first certified experts on snare trapping. He reiterated his department’s commitment to increasing wildlife prosecutions in Peninsular Malaysia and looks forward to continuing to work closely with the U.S. on future trainings programs designed to increase prosecutions of wildlife crimes.