In St Kitts, A Move to Protect Witnesses

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 26, 2011

Above: Justice Minister and Attorney General Patrice Nisbett (Photo: CUOPM)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

With increased incidence of witness tampering and other interference with criminal trials in St Kitts and Nevis, Attorney General Patrice Nisbett says new legislation has been introduced to tackle the problem.

The Evidence Bill 2010 seeks to re-examine the law relating to the evidence of vulnerable witnesses he said.

“This country is very well aware of the challenges faced by the prosecution in securing conviction for offences like murder,” he said. “These challenges are witness tampering, witness intimidation, and unfortunately, in some cases, witness elimination.”

In order to protect themselves from victimization, some witnesses change testimony at trial from what was originally disclosed to police.

“It is therefore not surprising to see that most people who see crimes being committed are afraid of giving evidence at trial because of the real likelihood of victimization by defendants, or by persons instructed by, or acting at the behest of, defendants,” he said.

The reform of the law would mean that where a so-called vulnerable witness has been threatened by a defendant or on behalf of a defendant, he or she can make application for an order allowing their statement to be used at trial, in lieu of actually appearing.

The bill would also abolish unsworn statements from the dock by defendants.

“At present, the playing field between the prosecution and the defence is not level, in so far as the defendant is allowed to make an unsworn statement from the dock, the veracity of which is never tested by the prosecution in cross-examination,” he said.

Popular Posts

The 10 Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean, From Aruba to Belize

Overwater villas at Caribbean resorts aren’t just a novelty — they’re also among the most luxurious and beautiful accommodations you can stay in. And while all of the bungalows perched above the waves have their charms, some stand out among […]

The 10 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean, From Antigua to Jamaica

all-inclusive hammock cove

All-inclusive resorts are more popular than ever, particularly in the Caribbean. The all-inclusive concept just keeps winning over travelers, who have been drawn to the ease, comfort and convenience of the concept. But the biggest thing within the space isn’t […]

The Bahamas’ Atlantis Paradise Island Just Completed a $150M Renovation

walking on the beach in nassau

A new eatery by Michelin-star Chef Michael White. A new-look casino. State-of-the-art guest rooms and the Caribbean’s first Shake Shack.  The Bahamas’ Atlantis Paradise Island resort has officially completed a $150 million resort-wide renovation, a significant project that included a […]

Related Posts st kitts nevis swimming

In St Kitts and Nevis, the Ultimate Caribbean Swimming Event 

It’s been more than two decades since the Caribbean’s ultimate swimming event first kicked off — and now the Nevis to St Kitts Cross Channel Swim is back again.  The 2.5-mile ocean crossing sees competitors swim across the “narrows” between St […]

Caribbean Photo of the Week: St Kitts, From the Sea

St Kitts Caribbean Photo Sea

The latest Caribbean Photo comes from Caribbean Journal reader Eric Schaeffer, who sent in this stunning shot of Basseterre, St Kitts, taken while on a cruise. “It was a beautiful late afternoon when I took this photo,” Eric tells Caribbean […]

The Cool List: the Coolest Hotels in the Caribbean for 2023

caribbean hotels coolest cool list

It’s hard to believe the first edition of our landmark Cool List was published 11 years ago. Today, the Caribbean Journal Cool List is still the annual authority on the Caribbean’s coolest, most creative, singular, buzzy places to stay. That […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You