Bahamas Court Case Sees Country’s First Use of Video-Linked Testimony

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

The use of live, video-linked testimony in a criminal case in the Bahamian Supreme Court was the first in the country’s history, and judges and security officials are calling it a “landmark way of fighting crime.”

The witness, who could not attend a the trial in Nassau, gave evidence from the Bahamian Consulate in Florida.

Live, television testimony is admissible in the Bahamas under the Evidence (Amendment) Act, 2011, according to Attorney General John Delaney.

“This was made possible in the Bahamas due to the criminal justice reforms introduced by the government,” he said.

The Act provides for the use of live, television links to receive evidence from persons who are unable to be physically present at court proceedings, and also provides for the admissibility of video recordings of testimony from child witnesses or other “vulnerable” persons.

It also provides for remand hearings to take place via video-link.

“Evidence that may not otherwise be available due to inability to travel, may be available to the court,” he said.