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PART VIISolemn Proceedings

Plea of guilty

76Procedure where accused desires to plead guilty

(1)Where an accused intimates in writing to the Crown Agent that he intends to plead guilty and desires to have his case disposed of at once, the accused may be served with an indictment (unless one has already been served) and a notice to appear at a diet of the appropriate court not less than four clear days after the date of the notice; and it shall not be necessary to lodge or give notice of any list of witnesses or productions.

(2)In subsection (1) above, “appropriate court” means—

(a)in a case where at the time of the intimation mentioned in that subsection an indictment had not been served, either the High Court or the sheriff court; and

(b)in any other case, the court specified in the notice served under section 66(6) of this Act on the accused.

(3)If at any such diet the accused pleads not guilty to the charge or pleads guilty only to a part of the charge, and the prosecutor declines to accept such restricted plea, the diet shall be deserted pro loco et tempore and thereafter the cause may proceed in accordance with the other provisions of this Part of this Act; except that in a case mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection (2) above the court may postpone the trial diet and the period of such postponement shall not count towards any time limit applying in respect of the case.

77Plea of guilty

(1)Where at any diet the accused tenders a plea of guilty to the indictment or any part thereof he shall do so in open court and, subject to section 70(7) of this Act, shall, if he is able to do so, sign a written copy of the plea; and the judge shall countersign such copy.

(2)Where the plea is to part only of the charge and the prosecutor does not accept the plea, such non-acceptance shall be recorded.

(3)Where an accused charged on indictment with any offence tenders a plea of guilty to any other offence of which he could competently be found guilty on the trial of the indictment, and that plea is accepted by the prosecutor, it shall be competent to convict the accused of the offence to which he has so pled guilty and to sentence him accordingly.