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Northern Ireland Act 1998

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

45Witnesses and documents: offences

(1)Subject to subsection (9) of section 44, any person to whom a notice under subsection (7) of that section has been given who—

(a)refuses or fails to attend proceedings as required by the notice;

(b)refuses or fails, when attending proceedings as required by the notice, to answer any question relating to the matters specified in the notice;

(c)deliberately alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys any document which he is required to produce by the notice; or

(d)refuses or fails to produce any such document,

is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.

(2)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (d) to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for the refusal or failure.

(3)Where an offence under this section which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of—

(a)a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate; or

(b)any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity,

he, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of that offence and liable to be proceeded against accordingly.

(4)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be taken without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

(5)For the purposes of section 44 and this section, a person shall be taken to comply with a requirement to produce a document if he produces a copy of, or an extract of the relevant part of, the document.

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