New section 156A
100.Section 156A as inserted provides for orders which the court may make in relation to any witness apprehended under a warrant granted under section 156.
101.Subsection (1) provides that where a witness has been apprehended and brought before a court the court may detain the witness in custody until the conclusion of the diet at which the witness is to give evidence, release the witness on bail, or liberate the witness.
102.Subsection (2) provides that an order detaining the witness or an order placing the witness on bail may only be made if the court is satisfied that such a course of action is necessary to secure the attendance of the witness and that it is appropriate to do so. Subsection (3) provides that the court shall state the reasons for making an order under section 156A(1).
103.Subsection (4) provides that, notwithstanding these powers, the court may deal with the witness for any contempt of court which the court considers to have been committed and dispose of the case accordingly.
104.Subsection (5) provides that where the witness has been ordered to be detained in custody the court, if it decides to excuse the witness from the diet at which s/he was to give evidence, may recall the order and liberate the witness.
105.Subsections (6) & (7) provide that the court, when granting the witness bail, may impose such conditions, other than a requirement to deposit a sum of money, as the court considers necessary to secure the attendance of the witness.
106.Subsection (8) applies with modifications to section 25 (Bail conditions: supplementary) of the 1995 Act to orders made under section 156A(1)(b) (i.e. where the court releases an apprehended witness on bail). Section 25, amongst other things, provides that the requirement of an accused to give details of his address at which s/he may be cited to attend court when liberated on bail. This requirement will apply to a witness liberated under these provisions.