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(1)Where the Attorney General has reasonable ground to believe that any crime under this Act has been committed, he may order an inquiry under this section, and thereupon any justice for the county, borough, or place in which the crime was committed or is suspected to have been committed, who is authorised in that behalf by the Attorney General, may, although no person may be charged before him with the commission of such crime, sit at a [F1police court, or] petty sessional or occasional court-house, or police station in the said county, borough, or place, and examine on oath concerning such crime any witness appearing before him, and may take the deposition of such witness, and, if he see cause, may bind such witness by recognizance to appear and give evidence at the next petty sessions, or when called upon within three months from the date of such recognizance; and the law relating to the compelling of the attendance of a witness before a justice, and to a witness attending before a justice and required to give evidence concerning the matter of an information or complaint, shall apply to compelling the attendance of a witness for examination and to a witness attending under this section.
(2)A witness examined under this section shall not be excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer thereto may criminate, or tend to criminate, [F2himself][F2that witness or the husband or wife of that witness]; but any statement made by any person in answer to any question put to him [F3or her] on any examination under this section shall not, except in the case of an indictment or other criminal proceeding for perjury, be admissible in evidence [F4against him][F4against that person or the husband or wife of that person] in any proceeding, civil or criminal.
(3)A justice who conducts the examination under this section of a person concerning any crime shall not take part in the committing for trial of such person for such crime.
(4)Whenever any person is bound by recognizance to give evidence before justices, or any criminal court, in respect of any crime under this Act, any justice, if he sees fit, upon information being made in writing and on oath, that such person is about to abscond, or has absconded, may issue his warrant for the arrest of such person, and if such person is arrested any justice, upon being satisfied that the ends of justice would otherwise be defeated, may commit such person to prison until the time at which he is bound by such recognizance to give evidence, unless in the meantime he produces sufficient sureties: Provided that any person so arrested shall be entitled on demand to receive a copy of the information upon which the warrant for his arrest was issued.
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