Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Skip Navigation LinksTrial Process

Pleading Not Guilty

  • Pleading not guilty means the Defendant does not admit to the charges and wishes to challenge the charges at trial.
  • After entering a plea of Not Guilty, the case will be adjourned for a Case Management Mention before a Trial Magistrate.

Case Management Mention

  • At the Case Management Mention, the Trial Magistrate will determine how many days is required to hear all of the evidence for the case and then set trial dates.
  • The Prosecutor will inform the Court which documents they intend to rely on and these documents will be served to the Defendant.
  • The Defendant will be asked for their reason for claiming trial and if they intend to call any witnesses to support their defence.
  • If the Defendant is relying on an alibi, they must inform the Court. The Court will require a Notice of Alibi. If they do not give Notice, the Court may refuse to allow any evidence in support of an alibi.
  • The Defendant will be asked if they have any objections to the statement they gave to the law enforcement agency.
  • The Trial Magistrate may schedule another date for a Pre-Trial Conference to deal with any other issues before the trial begins.



  • Both the Prosecutor and the Defendant will present their case to the Court.
  • The Defendant has to be prepared for their case before the trial starts. They must listen and record their own notes.
  • The Defendant has to present their case and their evidence in order for the Court to take it into consideration.

Prosecution’s Case:

  • The trial will begin with the prosecution’s case first whereby the Prosecutor will call each of their witnesses and ask them questions (Examination-in-Chief). The Defendant will be given the opportunity to ask the witnesses questions and to put the Defence case against the witness (Cross-Examination).
  • During the Cross-Examination, the Defendant has to raise any issue they have with the witness’s evidence and their reason for disagreeing to the witness’s version.
  • After the Defendant is done asking questions, the Prosecutor can Re-Examine the witness to clarify on any matter that was brought up during Cross-Examination.
  • After the prosecution calls their last witness, the Court will decide whether there is sufficient evidence presented for the charge against the Defendant that he has to answer to. If there is enough evidence, the case will continue and the Court will call for defence. If there is not, the case concludes and the Defendant is acquitted.

Call for Defence:

  • If defence is called, the Court will give the Defendant two options:
    • For the Defendant to give sworn evidence under oath and be cross-examined by the Prosecutor; or
    • For the Defendant to remain silent and not give evidence, leaving the Court to decide based only on the evidence presented and enabling the Court to draw adverse inferences against the Defendant.
  • With either selection, the Defendant can still call witnesses to support their defence.
  • If the Defendant chooses to call a witness, the Defendant will ask their witness questions first (Examination-in-Chief) and then the Prosecutor can Cross-Examine the witness by asking questions and putting their case to the witness.
  • After the Prosecutor is done asking questions, the Defendant can Re-Examine the witness to clarify on any matter that was brought up during Cross-Examination.

Final Submissions:

  • At the end of the trial, both the Prosecutor and the Defendant will be given the opportunity to present their closing submissions. In the Defendant’s closing submissions, it should include:
    • A summary of their defence and their evidence;
    • An explanation why the Court should believe the Defendant’s case and evidence;
    • The weaknesses in the Prosecutor’s case and evidence.


  • The Trial Magistrate will assess the case and decide whether or not the Defendant is guilty of the charges.
  • If the Defendant is found not guilty, they are acquitted and the case is closed.
  • Both the Prosecutor and the Defendant has the right to appeal against the Court’s decision. The appeal must be filed within 14 days from the date of the conviction/acquittal.

* Click here for a Guide to the Criminal Trial Process for Unrepresented Defendants (ENGLISH / BAHASA MELAYU). (link to download brochure)
* Click here for more information on how to prepare for a trial.