Prosecution Case

The prosecution should lay out its case in a logical sequence and ordinarily the first witness should be the direct victim of crime if any.  The exception to this rule is where one has expert witnesses, and where there are expert witnesses, they should take precedence over other witnesses.

Section 151 of the CPC provides that every witness in a criminal matter shall be examined upon oath administered by the court.  in practice where the witness does not wish to take an oath then they must be affirmed.

The witness shall then be cross-examined by the defence.

The prosecutor file has all the witness statements and as they lead them they lead them based on the statements that the witnesses have written down.

The idea of leading the witness and giving evidence is so that the accused can elaborate what is in the particulars of the charge to prove the case.  facts are laid down to be able to show that the offence the accused is charged with was actually committed.

Cross-examination is basically to raise doubt on the case of the prosecution.  Because of this a lot of latitude is allowed in cross examination and one can ask anything they want to ask as long as they are relevant to the case.  the act of cross examination is important for the defence counsel in the criminal case because of the latitude.  One is trying to build the basis for their defence during cross examination.  Cross examination must have a logical connection to ones defence

After cross-examination there is re-examination which is done by the prosecution to clarify issues that will have arisen in the course of cross-examination.  It is important to stick to the relevant things that were raised during cross-examination.

The court also has powers to cross examine witnesses.  For the court to do this, there must be issues where the court is seeking clarification which has not been brought up by the prosecution or defence.  Where the accused is not represented, this helps the courts to be proactive.  The accused who is not represented may not know how to cross-examine a witness and the court can do that to clarify issues. 

Once cross examination and re-examination have been finalised the court must sign the proceedings, this is so that at the end of every witness’s evidence the court must sign and put in the designation and date of that part of the proceedings.  This way the witnesses are called until they have all given evidence and then the prosecution can indicate to the court that they are done.


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