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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Evidence through television links

81.—(1) A person other than the accused may give evidence through a live television link at a preliminary investigation into an indictable offence, at a trial on indictment or on an appeal to the Court of Appeal or the hearing of a reference under section 14 of the Criminal Appeal (Northern Ireland) Act 1980(1) if—

(a)the witness is in Northern Ireland; and

(b)the witness—

(i)will not give evidence otherwise through fear, or

(ii)is under the age of 14 and the offence charged is one to which paragraph (3) applies.

(2) Evidence may not be given through a link by virtue of this Article without leave of the court.

(3) This paragraph applies—

(a)to an offence which involves an assault on, or injury or threat of injury to, a person;

(b)to an offence under section 20 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968(2);

(c)to a sexual offence which is tried on indictment; and

(d)to an offence which consists of attempting or conspiring to commit, or of aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or inciting the commission of, an offence falling within sub-paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(4) Subject to Article 89, the Secretary of State may by order—

(a)direct that this Article shall apply—

(i)to a witness falling within head (i) or (ii) of paragraph (1)(b) who is in Great Britain, or

(ii)to any witness who is outside the United Kingdom; and

(b)provide that a statement made on oath by such a witness and given in evidence through a link by virtue of this Article shall be treated for the purposes of Article 3 of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979(3) as having been made in the proceedings in which it is given in evidence.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of any statutory provision conferring power to make rules to which this paragraph applies, such rules may make such provision as appears to the authority making them to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of this Article.

(6) The rules to which paragraph (5) applies are—

(a)magistrates' courts rules;

(b)Crown Court rules; and

(c)rules of court.

(7) Where, at a preliminary investigation into an indictable offence, a court grants leave for evidence to be given through a link by virtue of this Article—

(a)that court may, notwithstanding anything in the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981(4) adjourn the investigation and order that it be held at such time and at such designated place as may be specified in the order; and

(b)a court sitting at a designated place shall, by virtue of this paragraph, have jurisdiction for the purposes of Article 16(1)(d) of that Order to deal with an offence in relation to which an investigation is so adjourned.

(8) In paragraph (7) “designated place” means any place designated under this paragraph by the Lord Chancellor as a place having facilities to receive evidence given through a link by virtue of this Article.

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