Kiribati Sessional Legislation
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REPUBLIC OF KIRIBATI
(No. 19 of 1983)
(President I. Tabai)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE (CAP. 17)
MADE by the Maneaba ni Maungatabu and assented to by the Beretitenti.
1. This Act may be cited as the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act 1983.
Amends section 254 of Cap. 17
2. Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code is amended by -
(a) repealing the words "in the presence of the accused person", and substituting the words "and the deposition of a witness made before a magistrate or a commissioner for oaths in a foreign country";
(b) repealing the words "with the consent of the accused person or his advocate" and substituting the words "at the discretion of the court" and
(c) adding to the end of the proviso the following:-
"but if this cannot be done without unreasonable expense or delay, then the Court shall give such weight to the deposition as it thinks appropriate".
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT 1983
1. This Act amends section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 17) which deals with deposition of expert witnesses i.e. a statement on oath of a witness in a judicial proceeding: the evidence of witnesses before a magistrate or justice taken down in writing which may be used at the trial without calling the witness himself. Recent developments with regard to the calling of expert witnesses from overseas had necessitated this amendment.
2. Section 254 of the Criminal Procedure Code as it now stands does not allow the courts to use or read as evidence such deposition unless made before a magistrate in the presence of the accused and he (the accused) also gives his consent. This is very restrictive and can also be very expensive especially when an expert witness from overseas is involved as we had found in one of the recent murder trials.
3. Section 2 of this Act therefore seeks to remove that prohibition by allowing the court to use or read as evidence the deposition of an expert witness made before a magistrate or commissioner for oaths in a foreign country. It further empowers the court not to summon a deponent if the expenses or the delay to be involved were to be unreasonable but in so doing the court shall then give such weight to the deposition as it thinks appropriate.
Michael Neaua Takabwebwe