PROCEDURE AT TRIAL IN ALL COURTS
229. In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “co-accused” means any person tried jointly with the accused.
—(1) The following procedure must be complied with at the trial in all courts:
at the commencement of the trial, the charge must be read and explained to the accused and his plea taken;
if the accused pleads guilty to the charge, the court must follow the procedure set out in Division 3 of Part XI;
if the accused refuses to plead or does not plead or claims trial, the court must proceed to hear the case;
the prosecutor may open his case and state shortly the nature of the offence with which the accused is charged and the evidence by which he proposes to prove the guilt of the accused;
the prosecutor must then examine his witnesses, if any, and each of them may in turn be cross-examined by the accused and every co-accused, after which the prosecutor may re-examine them;
after the prosecutor has concluded his case, the defence may invite the court to dismiss the case on the ground that there is no case to answer and the prosecutor may reply to the submission;
if the accused pleads guilty to this altered or new charge, the court must follow the procedure set out in Division 3 of Part XI;
if the accused refuses to plead or does not plead or claims trial to the altered or new charge, the court must proceed in accordance with the procedure set out hereinafter;
if after considering the evidence referred to in paragraph (e), the court is of the view that there is some evidence which is not inherently incredible and which satisfies each and every element of the charge as framed by the prosecutor or as altered or framed by the court, the court must call on the accused to give his defence;
the court must order a discharge amounting to an acquittal if it is of the view that there is no such evidence as referred to in paragraph (j);
before the accused calls any evidence in his defence, the court must inform the accused that he will be called upon by the court to give evidence in his own defence and what the effect will be if, when so called on, he refuses to give evidence on oath or affirmation; and the court may inform the accused in the following terms:
“I find that the prosecution has made out a case against you on the charge(s) on which you are being tried. There is some evidence, not inherently incredible, that satisfies each and every element of the charge(s). Accordingly, I call upon you to give evidence in your own defence.
You have two courses open to you. First, if you elect to give evidence you must give it from the witness box, on oath or affirmation, and be liable to cross-examination. Second, if you elect not to give evidence in the witness box, that is to say, remain silent, then I must tell you that the court in deciding whether you are guilty or not, may draw such inferences as appear proper from your refusal to give evidence, including inferences that may be adverse to you.
Let me also say, whichever course you take, it is open to you to call other evidence in your own defence. You may confer with your counsel on the course you wish to take.
I now call upon you to give evidence in your own defence. How do you elect?”;
after the court has called upon the accused to give his defence, the accused may —
plead guilty to the charge, in which event the court must follow the procedure set out in Division 3 of Part XI; or
choose to give his defence;
when the accused is called on to begin his defence, he may, before producing his evidence, open his case by stating the facts or law on which he intends to rely and make such comments as he thinks necessary on the evidence for the prosecution;
if the accused is giving evidence in his own defence, the evidence shall be taken in the following order:
the accused shall give evidence and then be cross-examined first by the other co-accused (if any) and then by the prosecutor after which he may be re-examined;
any witness for the defence of the accused shall give evidence and they may in turn be cross-examined first by the other co-accused (if any) and then by the prosecutor after which he may be re-examined;
where there are other co-accused persons, they and their witnesses shall then give evidence and be cross-examined and re-examined in like order;
an accused may apply to the court to issue process for compelling the attendance of any witness for the purpose of examination or cross-examination or to produce any exhibit in court, whether or not the witness has previously been examined in the case;
the court must issue process unless it considers that the application made under paragraph (q) should be refused because it is frivolous or vexatious or made to delay or frustrate justice and in such a case the court must record the reasons for the order;
before summoning any witness pursuant to an application under paragraph (q), the court may require that his reasonable expenses incurred in attending the trial be deposited in court by the defence;
at the close of the defence case, the prosecution shall have the right to call a person as a witness or recall and re-examine a person already examined, for the purpose of rebuttal, and such witness may be cross-examined by the accused and every co-accused, after which the prosecutor may re-examine him;
at the close of the defence case, the accused may sum up his case;
the prosecution shall have the final right of reply on the whole case;
if the court finds the accused not guilty, it must order a discharge amounting to an acquittal, and shall, provided no other charge is pending against him, forthwith release the accused;
if the court finds the accused guilty, it must record a conviction and comply with the procedure in section 228 after which it shall pass sentence in accordance with the law.
(2) Where a witness, other than an accused, is giving evidence for the prosecution or the defence, the court may, on the application of either party, interpose that witness with any other witness if the court is of the view that there are good reasons to do so.
Notice required to call witness or produce exhibits not disclosed in Case for the Prosecution or Case for the Defence
—(1) The prosecutor or defence may, at a trial, call as a witness or produce an exhibit not disclosed in the Case for the Prosecution or the Case for the Defence respectively only if it has given prior notice in writing to the court and the other parties to the trial of his intention to call that witness or to produce that exhibit.
(2) The notice must state the name of the witness and an outline of his evidence, or provide a brief description of the exhibit, as the case may be.
—(1) At any stage of any proceedings in court —
before an accused is acquitted of any charge; or
where an accused has been convicted of any charge but before he is sentenced for that charge,
the Public Prosecutor may, if he thinks fit, inform the court that he will not further prosecute the accused upon the charge, and the proceedings on the charge against the accused must then be stayed and he shall be discharged from and of the same.
(2) Except in cases referred to in section 147, a discharge under subsection (1) shall not amount to an acquittal unless the court so directs.
(3) Where an accused had previously been granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by a Magistrate’s Court or District Court in relation to an offence triable in the Subordinate Courts, any Magistrate’s Court or District Court, as the case may be, may grant the accused a discharge amounting to an acquittal on the application of the Public Prosecutor.
(4) Where an accused had previously been granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by a Magistrate’s Court or District Court in relation to an offence triable in the High Court, any Magistrate’s Court or District Court, as the case may be, may grant the accused a discharge on the application of the Public Prosecutor.
(5) A discharge under subsection (4) shall have the effect of an acquittal.
233. Except as otherwise expressly provided, the evidence of a witness during a trial conducted in accordance with this Part must be taken in the presence of the accused or, when his personal attendance is dispensed with, in the presence of his advocate.
234. Every trial before the High Court shall be heard and disposed of before a single judge of the High Court.
—(1) Whenever any court considers that the production of any document or other thing is necessary or desirable for the purposes of any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code by or before that court, such court may issue a summons to the person in whose possession or power the document or thing is believed to be, to require the person to produce the document or thing at the time and place stated in the summons.
(2) If any document or thing in the custody of a Postal Authority or public postal licensee is, in the opinion of the court, required for the purposes of any inquiry, trial or proceeding under this Code, the court may require the Postal Authority or public postal licensee to deliver that document or thing to such person as the court directs.
(3) If a person is required merely to produce any document or thing, he may comply with such requirement by causing the document or thing to be produced instead of bringing it in person.
(4) This section does not affect any provision of the Evidence Act (Cap. 97).