Examination of witnesses - national procedures for ICC proceedings

Republic of South Africa

Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Act No. 27 of 2002)

Chapter 4
Cooperation with and assistence to Court in or outside South Africa

Part 2
Judicial assistance to court (ss 14-32)

14 Areas of cooperation and judicial assistance

The relevant competent authorities in the Republic must, subject to the domestic law of the Republic and the Statute, cooperate with, and render assistance to, the Court in relation to investigations and prosecutions in the following areas:

(c) the questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted

Chapter 4
Cooperation with and assistence to Court in or outside South Africa

Part 2
Judicial assistance to court (ss 14-32)

16 Examination of witnesses

(1) The magistrate to whom a request has been forwarded in terms of section 15 (4) must cause the person whose evidence is required, to be summoned to appear before him or her to give evidence or to produce any book, document, or object.

(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) must be summoned in the prescribed manner.

(3) Upon the appearance of that person, the magistrate must administer an oath to or accept an affirmation from him or her and take the evidence of that person upon interrogatories or otherwise, as if the said person were a witness in a competent South African court of law in proceedings similar to those in connection with which his or her evidence is required.

(4) Upon completion of the examination of the witness, the magistrate taking the evidence must as soon as possible transmit to the Central Authority the record of the evidence certified by him or her to be correct, together with a certificate setting out the costs incurred in connection with the execution of the Court's request, including any extraordinary costs which have emanated from the execution of that request.

(5) If the services of an interpreter were used at the examination of the witness, the interpreter must, in the prescribed manner, certify that he or she has translated truthfully and to the best of his or her ability and that certificate must accompany the documents referred to in subsection (4).

(6) The Central Authority must, on receipt of the documents referred to in subsections (4) and (5), submit them to the Registrar of the Court, indicating which costs emanating from the execution of the request, in its opinion, should be borne by the Court in terms of Article 100 of the Statute.

17 Rights and privileges of witnesses before magistrate

(1) In respect of the giving of evidence or the production of any book, document or object at an examination in terms of section 16, the laws of the Republic relating to privilege applicable to such a witness in a magistrate's court in similar proceedings apply.

(2) A person summoned to appear before a magistrate in terms of section 16 may be assisted by a legal practitioner in the proceedings contemplated in that section.

Rome Statute

Article 93 Other forms of cooperation

1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:

(c) The questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;