Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008

63.

Evidence for use in designated state.

63.— (1) This section applies, subject to section 64 , in relation to a request for assistance in obtaining evidence in the State from a person (in this section referred to as a “witness”) for the purpose of criminal proceedings, or a criminal investigation, in a designated state.

(2) On receipt of such a request the Minister, if of opinion that this section applies in relation to it, may, subject to subsection (3)

( a) request the President of the District Court to nominate a judge of that Court to receive the evidence to which the request relates, and

( b) send the judge a copy of the request and of any accompanying or related documents.

(3) The Minister shall not exercise the power conferred by subsection (2) unless an assurance is given by the requesting authority that any evidence that may be supplied in response to the request will not, without the consent of the nominated judge or the witness, be used for any purpose other than that permitted by the relevant international instrument or specified in the letter of request.

(4) For the purposes of this section the nominated judge—

( a) has the powers of the District Court in criminal proceedings, including its powers—

(i) in relation to securing the attendance of witnesses, the production of documents or other articles, taking evidence on oath, compelling witnesses to give evidence or to produce documents or other things and the conduct generally of the proceedings for the taking of evidence, and

(ii) under any enactment or rule of law relating to the protection of witnesses against intimidation,

( b) may direct that the evidence, or any part of it, be received otherwise than in public if of opinion that such a direction is necessary to protect—

(i) the witness or other person, or

(ii) confidential or sensitive information, and

( c) shall inform the witness of his or her rights under section 64 .

(5) The evidence may be given through a live television link in any case where it may be so given in proceedings under any enactment.

(6) Any person who is summoned to give evidence and who, without reasonable excuse, does not answer any question or comply with a requirement to produce any document or other thing is guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.

(7) The Bankers’ Books Evidence Act 1879 applies to proceedings under this section as it applies to other proceedings before a court.

(8) No order for costs may be made in the proceedings.