Claims filed in 2020 down by 18pc: Public Prosecution

Muscat: The Public Prosecution Department (PPD) reaffirmed that the number of cases filed to its divisions dropped to 23,831 in 2020, compared to 28,020 cases, a decline of 18 percent.

The statement was made today by the PPD during a press conference during which it released annual statistical indicators about claims, judicial action and numbers of suspects and verdicts.

In reply to a question by Oman News Agency (ONA) about the status of employees expelled from their jobs and those unable to pay outstanding dues, the Attorney General, Nasr Khamis al Sowa’ee, said that the PPD will never take action against any employees who lost their jobs because of the current adverse conditions. Such layoffs, if discharged due to the said conditions, will be given an opportunity to adjust their status and there is great understanding of their circumstances, he added.

The Attorney General pointed out that there is an ongoing coordination between the Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the PPD in view of online filing of claims, which has been approved by judges as a legally standard measure. The cases filed in this manner have concluded in fair verdicts, said Al Sowa’ee, adding that the PPD provides 117 services to the public and that integration with government institutions has attained an advanced stage, with lawsuits filed electronically standing at 87% (20,727 out of 23,000 lawsuits), thanks to the PPD’s electronic platform which proved 100% efficient.

The PPD, which accords a great attention to self-development, seeks to upgrade the quality of its services to the levels envisaged for Oman Vision 2040, said the Attorney General. Accordingly, he explained, the PPD formed a monitoring team (named “Rasd”), whose duty is to follow up the opinions of the media and social communication channels at regional and international levels when a crime occurs, mainly to learn lessons and enable the legislative system to better perform its role in the Sultanate.

Towards this end, Al Sowa’ee said, the PPD organized specialized workshop and seminars for government establishments to raise their awareness, particularly when there is scope for misunderstanding of the law or upon the issuance of a new law that needs to be clarified. Following public awareness action, crimes related to consumer protection dropped by 18%, said Al Sowa’ee, adding only nine murder crimes were registered within the 23,000 cases filed in 2020 in the Sultanate. This is because crime rates are very law in Oman, compared to global standards because one murder crime in Sultanate is considered a big case, he observed.

The Attorney General said that, thanks to the government’s permitting Labour Law and Residency Law violators to adjust their conditions to avoid legal action, the crime in the Sultanate looked even less gloomy.

Speaking in detail, Al Sowa’ee said that, last year, the PPD dealt with 132 cases pertaining to misuse of public funds and money-laundering. Out of the total, 13 were cases of misappropriation of public funds, 16 were related to misuse of professions, 3 were in the sphere of negligence in using public funds, 3 were counterfeit cases and 3 other fraud cases.

The Attorney General thanked the Kingdom of Bahrain for helping recover a sum of USD2.9 million that related to the case bonds purchased in Bahrain through a European country.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Attorney General, Dr Ahmed Said al Shukaili, who acts as official spokesman of the PPD, said that electronic crimes are dealt with in accordance with the law. He pointed out that most fraudulent accounts are accessed sooner or later. In other comments, Al Shukaili said that the PPD found out that “some tweeters who insult the State are fake tweeters who transmit from outside the Sultanate”.

Speaking about types of crimes in 2020, he said that most of them are crimes of bad cheques (4,947), followed by Labour Law violation crimes (2,753), expat Residency crimes (2584), IT crimes (2,292), rape (104), use of narcotics and psychotropic substances (1,962) and begging (324).

Al Shukaili said that the PPD recovered a total of RO 24 million, most of them involved fines and confiscations. Al Khoudh division recorded the highest number of cases (2,206) and Bausher (1,841).

The number of suspects stood at 30,069 of them 2 percent juveniles, 89.8% males and 37.6% expats. –ONA