Service of documents - national proceedings


Código do Processo Penal de Timor-Leste






Article 132
Concept of documentary evidence

Documentary evidence is considered to be a statement, sign or notation embodied in writing or any other technical means, under the terms of the criminal law.

Article 133
Time for presentation

1. The document shall be presented in the course of the enquiry or, where this is not feasible, until the adjournment of the hearing.

2. Where legally applicable, the adversarial principle shall be applied in either case, and the court may grant a time limit of no more than eight (8) days for that purpose.

3. Sub-articles 133.1 and 133.2 are correspondingly applicable to opinions by lawyers, legal advisers or paralegals, which may at all times be presented until the closure of the hearing.

4. The provisions of this article do not affect the procedural status of the defendant.

Article 134
Types of written documents

1. A written document may be either authentic or private.

2. An authentic document is a document issued, in accordance with legal procedures, by public authorities within the purview of their competencies or by a notary or other public servant who has been granted full faith and credit, within his or her sphere of activity.

3. Private is any other document that is construed to have been authenticated when confirmed by the parties before a notary under the terms of the notaries laws.

Article 135
Documents issued in a foreign country

1. An authentic or private document issued in a foreign country, in accordance with the relevant law of that country, is as trustworthy as any document of the same nature issued in Timor-Leste.

2. Notarisation may be required where a document has not been notarised under the terms of the procedural law and there are any reasoned doubts as to its authenticity or the authenticity of its certification.

Article 136
Probative value of mechanical reproductions

1. Photographic, film, phonographic or electronic reproductions and, in general, any mechanical reproductions of the facts or things reproduced can be admitted as proof only where such reproductions are not prohibited under the terms of the procedural law.

2. For the purposes of applying sub-article 136.1, any reproductions, particularly mechanical ones, made in compliance with Chapter III of this Title, are not considered to be prohibited.

Article 137
Reproduction of documents

Subject to article 136, where the original of any document cannot be attached to the records or kept therein, but solely its mechanical reproduction, the latter has the same probative value as that of the original if the reproduction has been identified with the original in that or another proceeding.

Article 138
Probative effect

1. An authentic or authenticated document fully attests to a fact said to have been performed by a public authority or official, as well as to the facts attested therein on the basis of a scrutiny by the documenting entity; however, mere personal judgements by the documenting person has only the value of an element subject to a free assessment by the judge.

2. If the document contains amended or truncated words or words written over erasures or interlineations, without proper reference to the fact, the judge shall determine the extent to which the external defects of the document either exclude or reduce its probative effect.

3. Private documents are freely assessed by the court.

Article 139

1. The probative effect of an authentic document may only be challenged on the basis of forgery.

2. A document is forged when any fact that has not actually occurred or any act that has not been actually performed is attested therein as having been subjected to a scrutiny by a public authority or official.

3. If the forgery is self-evident in the face of the external signs on the document, the latter may, on a discretionary basis or at request, be declared fake by the court.

4. Where the court only has reasoned suspicion that a particular document has been forged, the fact is reported to the Public Prosecution Service for legal purposes.

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:

(d) The service of documents, including judicial documents;

(i) The provision of records and documents, including official records and documents;