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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

346Accused and spouse competent witness for defence

The accused and the spouse of the accused shall be competent witnesses for the defence at every stage of the case, whether the accused is on trial alone or along with a co-accused:

Provided that—

(a)the accused shall not be called as a witness in pursuance of this section except upon his own application;

(b)the failure of the accused or the spouse of the accused to give evidence shall not be commented upon by the prosecution;

(c)the spouse of the accused shall not, save as mentioned in section 348 of this Act, be called as a witness in pursuance of this section except upon the application of the accused;

(d)nothing in this section or in section 348 of this Act shall compel a spouse to disclose any communication made to him or her by the other spouse during the marriage;

(e)the accused who gives evidence on his own behalf in pursuance of this section may be asked any question in cross-examination notwithstanding that it would tend to incriminate him as to the offence charged;

(f)the accused who gives evidence on his own behalf in pursuance of this section shall not be asked, and if asked shall not be required to answer, any question tending to show that he has committed, or been convicted of, or been charged with, any offence other than that with which he is then charged, or is of bad character, unless—

(i)the proof that he has committed or been convicted of such other offence is admissible evidence to show that he is guilty of the offence with which he is then charged ; or

(ii)the accused or his counsel or solicitor has asked questions of the witnesses for the prosecution with a view to establish the accused's good character, or the accused has given evidence of his own good character, or the nature or conduct of the defence is such as to involve imputations on the character of of the prosecutor or of the witnesses for the prosecution ; or

(iii)the accused has given evidence against any other person charged with the same offence;

(g)every person called as a witness in pursuance of this section or section 348 of this Act shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, give his evidence from the witness box or other place from which the other witnesses give their evidence.

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