Cabinet gives nod to amend law to allow witnesses to testify from overseas

courtjpg-d97bff14fac4ea30_largeCabinet has given the approval to amend the existing laws to allow witnesses to testify from overseas, the Government said today.

The existing witness and victims protection law was brought into operation in May this year.

However the Government says there have been requests to allow witnesses from overseas to testify under this act.

Accordingly it the Government has decided to amend the existing law enabling victims and witnesses to give evidences from outside the country through audio visual media, without being present in court.

“Such evidences may be given at a Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission in the respective country and provisions should be enacted to protect the freedom of witnesses and prevent any influence,” the government said.

The proposal made by Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksha to draft amendments to the law on witness and victim protection has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Cabinet has also approved a proposal from the Minister to publish in the gazette and present in Parliament a draft Code on Criminal Procedures (Amendment) Act, for enacting provisions enabling a detainee to obtain the service of a desired legal counsel by his expenditure, before presenting him before a Magistrate, and to provide that service through a legal counsel of the Legal Aid Commission in Sri Lanka, for any detainee who cannot afford the expense. (Colombo Gazette)