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Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act No 19 of 1991


No. 19 of 1991.

I assent,
4th February 1992.


[17th October, 1991]

BE IT ENACTED by the King and Legislative Assembly of Tonga in the Legislature of the Kingdom as follows:-

1. (1) This Act may be cited as the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act (No. 2) 1991.

(2) The Criminal Offences Act (Cap. 18), as amended, is in this Act referred to as the Principal Act.

2. Section 2 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting, after the definition of "night", the following new definition:

"official seal" means any seal or stamp used by the officials of any Government or any department or agency thereof to authenticate their official acts, and includes any device, seal or stamp which makes an impression which so closely resembles that of any official seal so as to be likely to deceive;"

3. Section 170 of the Principal Act is amended by deleting subsection (1) thereof and substituting therefor the following new subsection:

"(1) Forgery is -

(a) the making of any false document with intent to defraud or deceive any person whether ascertained or unascertained; or

(b) the affixing of an official seal to any document without being duly authorised.".

4. The Principal Act is amended by inserting, after section 171, the following new sections:

"171A. (1) Every person who without being duly authorised-

(a) makes or causes any official seal to be made; or

(b) is in possession of any official seal,

shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years.

(2) Where any person is found in unauthorised possession of any official seal such seal may be seized and shall after the trial of the offender be delivered to the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet or such other person as the Court may direct.

171B. (1) In any trial for an offence against section 170(1) (b) or 171A of this Act a certificate by -

(a) the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet; or

(b) a diplomatic or consular agent of a foreign Government,

as the case may be, that the person named therein was not authorised to use, make, cause to be made or be in possession of the official seal therein described shall be prima facie evidence of those facts.

(2) No certificate referred to in subsection (1) may be received in evidence unless a copy thereof has been served on the accused or his lawyer not less than 7 clear days before the certificate is tendered in evidence.".


Passed in the Legislative Assembly this 17th day of October, 1991.

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