PART XIV
EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES
Division 1 — Preliminary
Interpretation of this Part
257.  In this Part, “statement” includes any representation of fact, whether made in words or otherwise.
Division 2 — Admissibility of certain types of evidence
Admissibility of accused’s statements
258.—(1)  Subject to subsections (2) and (3), where any person is charged with an offence, any statement made by the person, whether it is oral or in writing, made at any time, whether before or after the person is charged and whether or not in the course of any investigation carried out by any law enforcement agency, is admissible in evidence at his trial; and if that person tenders himself as a witness, any such statement may be used in cross-examination and for the purpose of impeaching his credit.
(2)  Where a statement referred to in subsection (1) is made by any person to a police officer, no such statement shall be used in evidence if it is made to a police officer below the rank of sergeant.
(3)  The court shall refuse to admit the statement of an accused or allow it to be used in the manner referred to in subsection (1) if the making of the statement appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise having reference to the charge against the accused, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient, in the opinion of the court, to give the accused grounds which would appear to him reasonable for supposing that by making the statement he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him.
     Explanation 1 — If a statement is obtained from an accused by a person in authority who had acted in such a manner that his acts tend to sap and have in fact sapped the free will of the maker of the statement, and the court is of the opinion that such acts gave the accused grounds which would appear to the accused reasonable for supposing that by making the statement, he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him, such acts will amount to a threat, an inducement or a promise, as the case may be, which will render the statement inadmissible.
     Explanation 2 — If a statement is otherwise admissible, it will not be rendered inadmissible merely because it was made in any of the following circumstances:
(a)under a promise of secrecy, or in consequence of a deception practised on the accused for the purpose of obtaining it;
(aa)where the accused is informed in writing by a person in authority of the circumstances in section 33B of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap. 185) under which life imprisonment may be imposed in lieu of death;
(b)when the accused was intoxicated;
(c)in answer to questions which the accused need not have answered whatever may have been the form of those questions;
(d)where the accused was not warned that he was not bound to make the statement and that evidence of it might be given against him;
(e)where the recording officer or the interpreter of an accused’s statement recorded under section 22 or 23 did not fully comply with that section; or
(f)where an accused’s statement under section 22 or 23 is in writing, when section 22(5) or 23(3B) (as the case may be) requires the statement to be recorded in the form of an audiovisual recording.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
[Act 30 of 2012 wef 01/01/2013]
(4)  If the statement referred to in subsection (3) is made after the impression caused by any such inducement, threat or promise referred to in that subsection has, in the opinion of the court, been fully removed, it shall be admissible.
(4A)  For the purposes of subsection (3), the making of a statement by an accused is not to be regarded as caused by any inducement, threat or promise merely because a person in authority had earlier informed the accused that the accused was required or legally bound to give information under section 27 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap. 241), if that person believed in good faith, when so informing the accused, that —
(a)the accused was concerned in an offence under that Act; or
(b)a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists, that the accused was concerned in an offence under that Act.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(5)  When 2 or more persons are tried jointly in any of the following circumstances, and a confession made by one such person affecting that person and any other such person is proved, the court may take into consideration the confession as against the other person as well as against the person who made the confession:
(a)all of those persons are tried jointly for the same offence;
(b)the proof of the facts alleged in the charge for the offence for which one of those persons (A) is tried (excluding any fact relating to any intent or state of mind on the part of A necessary to constitute the offence for which A is tried) would, for each of the rest of those persons, result in the proof of the facts alleged in the charge for the offence for which that person is tried (excluding any fact relating to any intent or state of mind on the part of that person necessary to constitute the offence for which that person is tried);
(c)at least one of those persons is tried for an offence under section 411, 412, 413 or 414 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224) in respect of any property, and the rest of those persons are tried for one or more of the offences of theft, extortion, robbery, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust or cheating under Chapter XVII of the Penal Code in respect of the same property.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(5A)  Despite subsection (5), the court may refuse to take into consideration a confession as against a person (other than the maker of the confession), if the prejudicial effect of the confession on that person outweighs the probative value of the confession.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(5B)  In subsection (5), “offence” includes an abetment of, a conspiracy to commit, or an attempt to commit, the offence.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
 
Illustrations
 
(a)A and B are jointly tried for the murder of C. It is proved that A said “B and I murdered C”. The court may consider the effect of this confession as against B.
 
(b)A is on trial for the murder of C. There is evidence to show that C was murdered by A and B and that B said “A and I murdered C”. This statement may not be taken into consideration by the court against A as B is not being jointly tried.
 
(c)A is charged with an offence of corruptly giving a gratification to B under section 5(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap. 241). B is charged with an offence of corruptly receiving the same gratification from A under section 5(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. A and B are jointly tried for those offences. If a confession made by A affecting both A and B is proved, and the same facts are alleged in the charges against A and B, the court may take into consideration the confession as against B, even though A and B are charged with offences that have different elements.
 
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(6)  Notwithstanding any other provision in this section —
(a)where a person is charged with any offence in relation to the making or contents of any statement made by him to any officer of a law enforcement agency in the course of any investigation carried out by the agency, that statement may be used as evidence in the prosecution;
(b)any statement made by the accused in the course of an identification parade may be used as evidence; and
(c)when any fact or thing is discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence in the custody of any officer of a law enforcement agency, so much of such information as relates distinctly to the fact or thing thereby discovered may be proved.
(7)  In this section, “confession”, in relation to any person who is tried for an offence, means any statement made at any time by him stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that offence.
Admissibility of Case for the Defence
258A.—(1)  Where any person is charged with an offence, the Case for the Defence filed under section 163(1) or 215(1) by or on behalf of that person —
(a)is admissible in evidence at that person’s trial (including during the presentation of the prosecutor’s statement under section 230(1)(d)); and
(b)if that person tenders himself as a witness, may be used in cross-examination and for the purpose of impeaching that person’s credit.
(2)  When 2 or more persons are tried jointly in any of the following circumstances, and the Case for the Defence filed under section 163(1) or 215(1) by or on behalf of any such person affects that person and any other such person, the court may take into consideration that Case for the Defence as against the other person as well as against the person by or on behalf of whom that Case for the Defence was filed:
(a)all of those persons are tried jointly for the same offence;
(b)the proof of the facts alleged in the charge for the offence for which one of those persons (A) is tried (excluding any fact relating to any intent or state of mind on the part of A necessary to constitute the offence for which A is tried) would, for each of the rest of those persons, result in the proof of the facts alleged in the charge for the offence for which that person is tried (excluding any fact relating to any intent or state of mind on the part of that person necessary to constitute the offence for which that person is tried);
(c)at least one of those persons is tried for an offence under section 411, 412, 413 or 414 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224) in respect of any property, and the rest of those persons are tried for one or more of the offences of theft, extortion, robbery, criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust or cheating under Chapter XVII of the Penal Code in respect of the same property.
(3)  Despite subsection (2), the court may refuse to take into consideration a Case for the Defence as against a person (other than the person by or on behalf of whom that Case for the Defence was filed), if the prejudicial effect of that Case for the Defence on that person outweighs the probative value of that Case for the Defence.
(4)  In subsection (2), “offence” includes an abetment of, a conspiracy to commit, or an attempt to commit, the offence.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
Reference to certain documents in Case for the Prosecution
258B.  Where any person is charged with an offence, any document mentioned in section 162(a), (b), (c) or (d) or 214(a), (b) or (c), which is contained in the Case for the Prosecution filed under section 161(2) or 213(1) for the purposes of the trial of that person, may be referred to during that trial as if that document is part of the prosecutor’s statement under section 230(1)(d).
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
Witness’s statement inadmissible except in certain circumstances
259.—(1)  Any statement made by a person other than the accused in the course of any investigation by any law enforcement agency is inadmissible in evidence, except where the statement —
(a)is admitted under section 147 of the Evidence Act (Cap. 97);
(b)is used for the purpose of impeaching his credit in the manner provided in section 157 of the Evidence Act;
(c)is made admissible as evidence in any criminal proceeding by virtue of any other provisions in this Code or the Evidence Act or any other written law;
(d)is made in the course of an identification parade; or
(e)falls within section 32(1)(a) of the Evidence Act.
[4/2012]
(2)  Where any person is charged with any offence in relation to the making or contents of any statement made by him to an officer of a law enforcement agency in the course of an investigation carried out by that officer, that statement may be used as evidence in the prosecution.
Admissibility of report on first information made under section 14 or 15
260.—(1)  In any proceeding under this Code, if a police officer of or above the rank of inspector certifies as a true copy a copy of a report received or recorded under section 14(2) or (3) or 15(1), or of a note made under section 14(5), the certified copy is admissible as evidence of the original information and of the date, time and place at which it was given.
(2)  A court may require to be shown the original report or note.
Inferences from accused’s silence
261.—(1)  Where in any criminal proceeding evidence is given that the accused on being charged with an offence, or informed by a police officer or any other person charged with the duty of investigating offences that he may be prosecuted for an offence, failed to mention any fact which he subsequently relies on in his defence, being a fact which in the circumstances existing at the time he could reasonably have been expected to mention when so questioned, charged or informed, as the case may be, the court may in determining —
(a)whether to commit the accused for trial;
(b)whether there is a case to answer; and
(c)whether the accused is guilty of the offence charged,
draw such inferences from the failure as appear proper; and the failure may, on the basis of those inferences, be treated as, or as capable of amounting to, corroboration of any evidence given against the accused in relation to which the failure is material.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not —
(a)prejudice the admissibility in criminal proceedings of evidence of the silence or other reaction of the accused in the face of anything said in his presence relating to the conduct for which he is charged, in so far as evidence of this would be admissible apart from that subsection; or
(b)preclude the drawing of any inference from any such silence or other reaction of the accused which could be drawn apart from that subsection.
Use of affidavits sworn by witnesses
262.—(1)  Any affidavit made by a witness may be used in any criminal court, if it is sworn —
(a)in Singapore, before any Judge, District Judge, Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Magistrate or before any commissioner for oaths appointed or deemed to have been appointed under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap. 322);
(b)elsewhere in the Commonwealth before any judge, court, notary public or person lawfully authorised to administer oaths; or
(c)in any other place, before any consul or vice-consul of Singapore, Malaysia or the United Kingdom.
(2)  The court shall take judicial notice of the seal or signature, as the case may be, of any judge, court, notary public, person, consul or vice-consul appended or subscribed to any affidavit.
Report of qualified persons
263.—(1)  A document, including any exhibits and annexures identified in the document, which is presented as the report of a qualified person concerning a matter or thing duly submitted to him for examination, analysis or report, may be used as evidence in any criminal proceeding under this Code, and the qualified person need not be called as a witness unless the court or any of the parties requires that person to be examined orally or cross-examined on the report.
(2)  Qualified persons are by this Code bound to state the truth in their reports.
(3)  A report of a qualified person is admissible as prima facie evidence of the facts stated in it.
(4)  In this section, “qualified person” means a person specified by the Minister by notification in the Gazette for the purposes of this section.
Conditioned statements
264.—(1)  Notwithstanding anything in this Code or in any other written law, a written statement made by any person is admissible as evidence in any criminal proceeding, to the same extent and to the same effect as oral evidence given by the person, if the following conditions are satisfied:
(a)the statement appears to be signed by the person who made it;
(b)the statement contains a declaration by the person to the effect that it is true to the best of his knowledge and belief and that he made the statement knowing that, if it were given in evidence, he would be liable to prosecution if he stated in it anything he knew to be false or did not believe to be true;
(c)before the hearing at which the statement is given in evidence, a copy of the statement is served, by or on behalf of the party proposing to give it, on each of the other parties to the proceedings;
(d)before or during the hearing, the parties agree to the statement being tendered in evidence under this section; and
(e)the court is satisfied that the accused is aware of this section or is represented by an advocate during the criminal proceeding.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
(2)  The following provisions also apply to any written statement given in evidence under this section:
(a)if the statement is by a person below the age of 21 years, it must state his age;
(b)if it is made by a person who cannot read it, it must be read to him before he signs it and must be accompanied by a declaration by the person who read the statement to him, stating that it was so read; and
(c)if it refers to any other document as an exhibit, the copy of the written statement must be accompanied by a copy of that document or by information that will enable the party on whom it is served to inspect that document or a copy of it.
(3)  Where in any criminal proceeding a written statement made by any person is admitted in evidence under this section —
(a)the party by whom or on whose behalf a copy of the statement was served may call the person to give evidence; and
(b)the court may, of its own motion or on the application of any party to the proceeding, require the person to attend before the court and give evidence.
(4)  Unless the court directs otherwise, so much of any statement as is admitted in evidence under this section must be read aloud at the hearing.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
(4A)  Where the court directs under subsection (4) that any part of a statement admitted in evidence under this section need not be read aloud at the hearing, the court may also direct that an account be given orally of the part of that statement that is not read aloud.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
(5)  A document or an object referred to as an exhibit and identified in a written statement given in evidence under this section must be treated as if it had been produced as an exhibit and identified in court by the maker of the statement.
Statement recorded in form of audiovisual recording
264A.—(1)  Despite anything in this Code or in any other written law, a statement made by a person that is recorded in the form of an audiovisual recording (called in this section a recorded statement) is admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding, to the same extent and to the same effect as oral evidence given by the person, if —
(a)the criminal proceeding relates to an offence alleged to have been committed against or in relation to the person;
(b)any of the following conditions is satisfied:
(i)the offence alleged to have been committed against or in relation to the person is —
(A)a child abuse offence;
(B)an offence under section 24(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act (Cap. 38), an abetment of, a conspiracy to commit, or an attempt to commit, that offence;
(C)a sexual offence;
(D)an offence under section 169(3) of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353), an abetment of, a conspiracy to commit, or an attempt to commit, that offence; or
(E)an offence under section 3(1) or (2) or 6(1) of the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act 2014 (Act 45 of 2014), an abetment of, a conspiracy to commit, or an attempt to commit, that offence;
(ii)both of the following apply:
(A)the offence alleged to have been committed against or in relation to the person is an offence under section 323, 323A, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 334, 334A, 335, 335A, 335B, 336, 337 or 338 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224), an abetment of, a conspiracy to commit, or an attempt to commit, that offence;
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(B)any of the following applies:
(BA)the person is below 16 years of age;
(BB)the person is suffering from a mental disability;
(BC)the person is a domestic worker, and the offence is alleged to have been committed by the employer of the person or by a member of the employer’s household;
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(BD)the offence alleged to have been committed against or in relation to the person is one to which section 73, 74A, 74B, 74C or 74D of the Penal Code applies;
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(iii)all of the following apply:
(A)the offence alleged to have been committed against or in relation to the person is any other offence;
(B)any of the following applies:
(BA)the person is below 16 years of age;
(BB)the person is suffering from a mental disability;
(BC)the person is a domestic worker, and the offence is alleged to have been committed by the employer of the person or by a member of the employer’s household;
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(BD)the offence alleged to have been committed against or in relation to the person is one to which section 73, 74A, 74B, 74C or 74D of the Penal Code applies;
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(C)the court grants leave for the recorded statement to be admitted in evidence;
(c)in a case where the person is below 21 years of age, the recorded statement states the person’s age; and
(d)in a case where the recorded statement is to be used in lieu of oral evidence given by the person as evidence in chief in the criminal proceeding, the person has confirmed in the recorded statement that what the person states in the recorded statement is true.
(2)  Where a recorded statement is admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding under subsection (1), a transcript of the audiovisual recording of the recorded statement is also admissible as evidence in the criminal proceeding, to the same extent and to the same effect as the recorded statement.
(3)  Where in any criminal proceeding a recorded statement of a person, or a transcript of the audiovisual recording of a recorded statement of a person, is admitted in evidence under this section, the court may, of its own motion or on the application of any party to the proceeding, require the person to attend before the court and give evidence.
(4)  Unless the court directs otherwise —
(a)the audiovisual recording of so much of a recorded statement as is admitted in evidence under this section must be displayed at the hearing; and
(b)so much of a transcript as is admitted in evidence under this section must be read aloud at the hearing.
(5)  Where the court directs under subsection (4) that any part of the audiovisual recording of a recorded statement admitted in evidence under this section need not be displayed at the hearing, the court may also direct that an account be given orally of the part of the audiovisual recording that is not displayed.
(6)  Where the court directs under subsection (4) that any part of a transcript admitted in evidence under this section need not be read aloud at the hearing, the court may also direct that an account be given orally of the part of the transcript that is not read aloud.
(7)  Where a document or an object is referred to as an exhibit and identified in a recorded statement of a person, or in a transcript of the audiovisual recording of a recorded statement of a person, and the recorded statement or transcript (as the case may be) is admitted in evidence under this section, the document or object must be treated as if the document or object had been produced as an exhibit and identified in court by the person.
(8)  Where a document is referred to as an exhibit in a recorded statement, or in a transcript of the audiovisual recording of a recorded statement, and the recorded statement or transcript (as the case may be) is admitted in evidence under this section, the prosecution must —
(a)serve a copy of that document on the defence; or
(b)allow the defence to inspect that document or a copy of that document.
(9)  In this section, “domestic worker” and “member of the employer’s household” have the same meanings as in section 73(4) of the Penal Code.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
When evidence of past possession of stolen property allowed
265.  Where proceedings are taken against a person for having received goods knowing them to be stolen or for having in his possession stolen property, evidence may be given at any stage of the proceedings that there was found in his possession other property stolen within the preceding 12 months; and such evidence may be taken into consideration when proving that the person knew that the property which is the subject of the proceedings was stolen.
When evidence of previous conviction allowed
266.—(1)  Where —
(a)proceedings are taken against a person for having received goods knowing them to be stolen or for having in his possession stolen property; and
(b)evidence is given that the stolen property was found in his possession,
then, if he has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty within the 5 years immediately preceding, evidence of that previous conviction may be given and may be taken into consideration when proving that the accused knew that the property in his possession was stolen.
(2)  The accused must be given at least 7 days’ written notice that proof will be given of the previous conviction under subsection (1).
(3)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the previous conviction of the accused need not be entered in the charge.
Proof by formal admission
267.—(1)  Subject to this section, any fact of which oral evidence may be given in any criminal proceedings may be admitted for the purpose of those proceedings by or on behalf of the Public Prosecutor or the accused, and the admission by any party of any such fact under this section shall as against that party be conclusive evidence in those proceedings of the fact admitted.
(2)  An admission under this section —
(a)may be made before or at the proceedings;
(b)if made otherwise than in court, must be in writing;
(c)if made in writing by an individual, must purport to be signed by the person making it and, if so made by a body corporate, limited liability partnership, partnership or unincorporated association, must purport to be signed by a duly authorised representative of that body corporate, limited liability partnership, partnership or unincorporated association, as the case may be;
(d)if made on behalf of an accused who is an individual, must be made by his advocate; and
(e)if made before the trial by an accused who is an individual, must be approved by his advocate before or at the proceedings in question.
(3)  An admission under this section for the purpose of proceedings relating to any matter shall be treated as an admission for the purpose of any subsequent criminal proceedings relating to that matter, including any appeal or retrial.
(4)  An admission under this section may with the leave of the court be withdrawn in the proceedings for which it is made or any subsequent criminal proceedings relating to the same matter.
Hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings
268.  In any criminal proceedings, a statement is admissible as evidence of any fact stated therein to the extent that it is so admissible by this Code, the Evidence Act (Cap. 97), or any other written law.
[4/2012]
269.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
270.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
271.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
272.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
273.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
274.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
275.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
276.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
277.  [Repealed by Act 4 of 2012]
Notice of alibi
278.—(1)  In any trial, the accused may not, without the leave of the court, offer evidence in support of an alibi unless he gives notice of particulars of the alibi.
(2)  Without prejudice to subsection (1), the accused may not call a witness to give such evidence without the leave of the court unless the following conditions apply:
(a)the notice under subsection (1) includes the name and address of the witness or, if the accused does not know the name or address at the time he gives the notice, any information he has that might help find the witness;
(b)if the name or the address is not included in that notice, the court is satisfied that the accused, before giving the notice, took and continued taking all reasonable steps to find out the name or address;
(c)if the name or the address is not included in that notice, but the accused later discovers the name or address or receives other information that might help to find the witness, he immediately gives notice of the name, address or other information, as the case may be; and
(d)if the accused is notified by, or on behalf of, the Public Prosecutor that the witness has not been traced by the name or at the address given, the accused gives notice immediately of the information he has or later receives.
(3)  Subject to any directions by the court as to the time it is to be given, evidence to disprove an alibi may be given before or after evidence in support of the alibi.
(4)  Unless the contrary is proved, a notice offered under this section on behalf of the accused by his advocate is regarded as having been given with the accused’s authority.
(5)  A notice under subsection (1) must either be given —
(a)to the court when the accused is first charged in court in relation to the offence for which he is raising the defence of an alibi; or
(b)in writing to the Public Prosecutor, or to the officer in charge of the prison where the accused is kept for him to forward to the Public Prosecutor, within 14 days from the date he is charged in court for the first time with the offence for which he is raising the defence of an alibi.
(6)  A notice under subsection (2)(c) or (d) must be given in writing to the Public Prosecutor.
(7)  A notice required by this section to be given to the Public Prosecutor may be delivered to him, or left at his office, or sent in a registered letter addressed to him at his office.
(8)  If the Public Prosecutor or any officer of a law enforcement agency interviews any witness who is named in a notice given under this section, the accused or his advocate is entitled to be present at the interview.
(9)  The court may not refuse leave under this section if no advocate appears to have been instructed to act for the accused at any time before his trial and if it is satisfied that the accused was unaware of the provisions of this section.
(10)  In this section, “evidence in support of an alibi” means evidence tending to show that because the accused was present at a place or in an area at a certain time he was not, or was unlikely to have been, at the place where the offence was committed at the relevant time.
Division 3 — Ancillary hearing
Procedure to determine admissibility of evidence
279.—(1)  Subject to this Code and any other written law relating to the admissibility of evidence, where any party objects to the admissibility of any statement made by that party or any other evidence which the other party to the case intends to tender at any stage of the trial, the court must determine it separately at an ancillary hearing before continuing with the trial.
Illustrations
(a)Evidence is to be given of a tape recording that is said to be of a conversation between X and Y. There is an objection that the tape has been tampered with. The court must hold an ancillary hearing to determine its admissibility.
(b)X is accused of murdering Y and disposing of the body by dismembering it. The prosecution seeks to offer evidence that X was involved in the murder of Z where similar dismemberment was done. The defence objects to the admission of such evidence. The court must hold an ancillary hearing to determine the admissibility of the evidence.
(c)The prosecution seeks to admit the statement of the accused. The accused alleges that the statement was given involuntarily as a result of a threat, inducement or promise. The court must hold an ancillary hearing to determine whether the statement was given voluntarily.
(d)The prosecution seeks to admit a statement of the accused, who denies that he made it. No ancillary hearing is necessary as this does not relate to the voluntariness of the statement.
(e)X is accused of murdering Y. Z, a good friend of X, testifies that X told him that he had murdered Y, which is denied by X. As Z is not a person in authority, no ancillary hearing is necessary as there is no issue of admissibility.
(2)  In an ancillary hearing, any evidence adduced shall be limited only to the ancillary issue.
(3)  The following procedure shall be complied with at an ancillary hearing:
(a)the party seeking to admit the evidence shall produce his evidence on the ancillary issue;
(b)the party must then examine his witnesses, if any, and each of them may in turn be cross-examined by the other party and every co-accused, as the case may be, after which the first party may re-examine them;
(c)after the party has concluded his case, the court shall call on the other party to present his evidence;
(d)when the other party is called on to present his evidence, the other party shall examine his witnesses, if any, and each of them may in turn be cross-examined by the first party and every co-accused, as the case may be, after which they may be re-examined;
(e)an accused may apply to the court to issue process for compelling the attendance of any witness and the production of any exhibit in court, whether or not the witness has previously been examined in the case, for the purpose of examination or cross-examination;
(f)the court must issue process unless it considers that the application made under paragraph (e) should be refused because it is frivolous or vexatious or made to delay or frustrate justice and in such a case the court must record the reasons for the order;
(g)before summoning any witness pursuant to an application under paragraph (e), the court may require that the reasonable expenses incurred by the witness in attending the trial be deposited in court by the defence;
(h)at the close of the other party’s case, whether or not evidence has been adduced in accordance with section 283, the first party shall have the right to call a person as a witness or recall and re-examine a person already examined, for the purpose of rebuttal, and such witness may be cross-examined by the other party and every co-accused, after which the first party may re-examine him;
(i)at the close of the other party’s case, the first party may sum up his case;
(j)the first party shall have the final right of reply on the whole case;
(k)before proceeding with the main trial, the court must make a ruling on the admissibility of the statement or the other evidence which has been objected to by any party to the proceedings.
(4)  Where a witness, other than an accused, is giving evidence for the prosecution or the defence, the court may, on the application of either party, interpose that witness with any other witness if the court is of the view that there are good reasons to do so.
(5)  If any evidence has been given in any ancillary hearing relating to the statement or the other evidence which has been objected to by any party to the proceedings, any such evidence which is relevant for the purposes of the main trial shall be admissible without the need to recall any of the witnesses to give evidence.
(6)  The court may, in the interests of justice, allow any witness who has testified at the ancillary hearing to be recalled during the trial for examination or cross-examination by the prosecution or the defence, as the case may be.
(7)  If the court, after hearing evidence in the main trial, is doubtful about the correctness of its earlier decision whether or not to admit the evidence at the ancillary hearing, it may call on the prosecution and the defence to make further submissions.
(8)  If the court, after hearing any submissions, decides to reverse its earlier decision in admitting the evidence, it shall disregard such evidence when determining whether or not to call for the defence or when determining the guilt or otherwise of the accused.
(9)  If the court, after hearing any submissions, decides to reverse its earlier decision in not admitting the evidence, such evidence may be admitted in court for the purpose of determining whether or not to call for the defence or when determining the guilt or otherwise of the accused.
Division 4 — Special provisions relating to
recording or giving of evidence
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
Power of Magistrate to record statements
280.—(1)  A Magistrate may record a statement made to him at any time before a trial begins.
(2)  The statement must be recorded in full, and a question asked by the Magistrate and the answer given to him must be clearly shown as being a question and answer.
(3)  The Magistrate must not record the statement if, on questioning the person making it, he does not believe it was made voluntarily.
(4)  The Magistrate must make a note at the foot of this record as follows:
  “I believe that this statement was voluntarily made. It was taken in my presence and hearing, and was read over to the person making it. The maker of the statement has admitted that it is correct and contains a full and true account of what he/she said.
 
(Signed)
A.B.  
Magistrate”.
(5)  If the person making the statement does not understand English, the proceedings must be interpreted for him in his own language or in a language he understands, and the note referred to in subsection (4) must be signed by the Magistrate and by the interpreter.
(6)  Taking and recording a statement disqualifies the Magistrate who has taken and recorded it from trying the case.
(7)  If an accused’s confession recorded under this section is presented to a court as evidence, but the court finds that the Magistrate recording the statement did not fully comply with this section, it must take evidence as to whether the accused duly made the statement recorded and, if it is satisfied of that, it must admit the statement in evidence if the error has not prejudiced the accused’s defence on the merits.
Evidence through video or television links
281.—(1)  Notwithstanding any provision of this Code or of any other written law, but subject to the provisions of this section, the court may allow the evidence of a person in Singapore (except the accused) to be given through a live video or live television link in any trial, inquiry, appeal or other proceedings if —
(a)the witness is below the age of 18 years;
[Act 30 of 2019 wef 01/07/2020]
(b)the offence charged is an offence specified in subsection (2);
(c)the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so; or
(d)the Minister certifies that it is in the public interest to do so.
(2)  The offences for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) are —
(a)an offence that involves an assault on or injury or a threat of injury to persons, including an offence under sections 319 to 338 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224);
(aa)an offence under section 356, 357 or 358 of the Penal Code;
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(b)a child abuse offence;
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(c)an offence under section 24(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act (Cap. 38);
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(ca)an offence punishable under the Organised Crime Act 2015;
[Act 26 of 2015 wef 01/06/2016]
(d)a sexual offence;
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(da)an offence under section 169(3) of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353); and
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(e)any other offence that the Minister may, after consulting the Chief Justice, prescribe.
(2A)  Where a psychiatrist or psychologist has prepared a report on how a witness may be affected if the witness is required to give evidence in the presence of the accused, and that report is placed before the court, the court must consider that report before deciding whether to allow under subsection (1) the evidence of the witness to be given through a live video or live television link.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(3)  Despite any provision of this Code or of any other written law, unless the court directs otherwise, while an accused is in remand in Singapore, the accused is to appear before the court through a live video or live television link in any of the following proceedings:
(a)proceedings for an application for bail or release on personal bond at any time after the accused is first produced before a Magistrate pursuant to Article 9(4) of the Constitution;
(b)proceedings for an extension of the remand of the accused under section 238;
(c)proceedings for a State Court to record a plea of guilty from the accused, and to convict the accused;
(d)proceedings in a State Court for the sentencing of the accused, after the conviction of the accused in earlier proceedings;
(e)any other proceedings that the Minister may prescribe by regulations under this section, after consulting the Chief Justice.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
(4)  Notwithstanding any provision of this Code or of any other written law but subject to subsection (5), an accused who is not a juvenile may appear before the court through a live video or live television link while in remand in Singapore in proceedings for an application for remand or for bail or for release on personal bond when he is first produced before a Magistrate pursuant to Article 9(4) of the Constitution.
(5)  A court may, if it considers it necessary, either on its own motion or on the application of an accused, require an accused to be produced in person before it in proceedings referred to in subsection (4).
(6)  In exercising its powers under subsection (1), (3) or (4), the court may make an order on all or any of the following matters:
(a)the persons who may be present at the place with the witness;
(b)that a person be kept away from the place while the witness is giving evidence;
(c)the persons in the courtroom who must be able to be heard, or seen and heard, by the witness and by the persons with the witness;
(d)the persons in the courtroom who must not be able to be heard, or seen and heard, by the witness and by the persons with the witness;
(e)the persons in the courtroom who must be able to see and hear the witness and the persons with the witness;
(f)the stages in the proceedings during which a specified part of the order is to apply;
(g)the method of operation of the live video or live television link system including compliance with such minimum technical standards as may be determined by the Chief Justice;
(h)any other order that the court considers necessary in the interests of justice.
(7)  The court may revoke, suspend or vary an order made under this section if —
(a)the live video or live television link system stops working and it would cause unreasonable delay to wait until a working system becomes available;
(b)it is necessary for the court to do so to comply with its duty to ensure fairness in the proceedings;
(c)it is necessary for the court to do so in order that the witness can identify a person or a thing or so that the witness can participate in or view a demonstration or an experiment;
(d)it is necessary for the court to do so because part of the proceedings is being heard outside a courtroom; or
(e)there has been a material change in the circumstances after the court has made the order.
(8)  The court must not make an order under this section, or include a particular provision in such an order, if to do so would be inconsistent with its duty to ensure that the proceedings are conducted fairly to all parties.
(9)  An order made under this section does not cease to apply merely because the person in respect of whom it was made reaches the age of 18 years before the proceedings in which it was made are finally concluded.
[Act 30 of 2019 wef 01/07/2020]
(10)  When a witness gives evidence in proceedings through a live video or live television link, the evidence is to be regarded for the purposes of sections 193, 194, 195, 196 and 205 of the Penal Code as having been given in those proceedings.
[Act 15 of 2019 wef 01/01/2020]
(11)  If a witness gives evidence in accordance with this section, for the purposes of this Code and the Evidence Act (Cap. 97), he is regarded as giving evidence in the presence of the court and the accused, as the case may be.
(12)  In subsections (6), (10) and (11), a reference to “witness” includes a reference to an accused who appears before a court through a live video or live television link under subsection (3) or (4).
(13)  The Chief Justice may make such rules as appear to him to be necessary or expedient to give effect to this section and for prescribing anything that may be prescribed under this section.
Measures to prevent witness from seeing accused
281A.—(1)  Despite any provision of this Code or any other written law, but subject to this section, the court may make an order allowing a witness to give evidence while prevented by a shielding measure from seeing the accused, if —
(a)the witness is below 18 years of age;
[Act 30 of 2019 wef 01/07/2020]
(b)the witness is the alleged victim of a sexual offence or child abuse offence that the accused is charged with; or
(c)the court is satisfied that —
(i)either or both of the following apply:
(A)the witness is afraid of the accused, or of giving evidence in the presence of the accused;
(B)the witness will be distressed if the witness is required to give evidence in the presence of the accused; and
(ii)the reliability of the witness’ evidence will be diminished by such fear or distress (as the case may be).
(2)  The shielding measure must not prevent the witness from being able to see, and to be seen by, any of the following:
(a)the court;
(b)the prosecutor;
(c)any advocate representing the accused;
(d)any interpreter or other person appointed to assist the witness.
(3)  An order under subsection (1) does not cease to apply merely because the witness in respect of whom the order was made reaches 16 years of age before the proceedings in which the order was made are finally concluded.
(4)  If a witness gives evidence in accordance with this section, for the purposes of this Code and the Evidence Act (Cap. 97), the witness is regarded as giving evidence in the presence of the accused.
(5)  In this section, “shielding measure” means a screen or any other arrangement in a courtroom that prevents a witness from seeing the accused.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
Evidence to be given in camera in certain cases
281B.—(1)  Despite any provision of any other written law but subject to subsection (2), in any case where the accused is charged with a sexual offence or child abuse offence, the court must order that the evidence of a witness be given in camera, if —
(a)the witness is the alleged victim of that offence; and
(b)the witness does not elect to give evidence in an open and public court to which the public generally may have access.
(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a matter or proceeding if —
(a)any other written law requires the matter or proceeding to be heard in camera; or
(b)the court has ordered, under any other written law, that the matter or proceeding be heard in camera.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 31/10/2018]
Division 5 — Witnesses
Attendance of prisoner as witness
282.—(1)  Where the presence of any person detained in a prison in Singapore is required in any court, that court may issue a warrant addressed to the officer in charge of the prison requiring him to produce that person before the court in proper custody at the time and place named in the warrant and from time to time if the hearing is adjourned.
(2)  The officer in charge of the prison must have the person named in the warrant brought to court as directed and must arrange for his safe custody during his absence from prison.
(3)  A warrant must bear the seal of the court and be signed by the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Registrar of the State Courts, District Judge or Magistrate, as the case may be.
[Act 5 of 2014 wef 07/03/2014]
Power of court to summon and examine persons
283.—(1)  A court may, on its own motion or on the application of the prosecution or the defence, at the close of the case for the defence, or at the end of any proceeding under this Code, summon a person as a witness or examine a person in attendance as a witness, whether or not summoned, or recall and re-examine a person already examined.
(2)  The court must summon and examine or recall and re-examine such a person if it thinks his evidence is essential to making a just decision in the case.
(3)  The exercise by a court of its power under subsection (1) is not a ground for appeal, or for revision, unless the appellant, or the applicant, as the case may be, shows that the examination has led to a failure of justice.
When person bound to give evidence intends to leave Singapore
284.—(1)  If a court is satisfied that any witness subject to a bond or is otherwise bound or about to be bound to give evidence in a trial intends to leave Singapore and that the ends of justice would probably be defeated if that person were not present at the trial to give evidence, it may, upon the application of the Public Prosecutor or accused, commit that person to prison until the trial or until he gives satisfactory security that he will give evidence at the trial, or complies with any other conditions that may be imposed by the court.
(2)  Before making the order, the court must be satisfied that the party making the application has made adequate provision for the person’s maintenance and for compensating him for his detention and loss of time.
Recording of evidence
285.  Except as otherwise expressly provided, in proceedings under this Code, the evidence of the witnesses must be recorded in the manner set down by this Part.
Manner of recording evidence
286.—(1)  The evidence given in any proceeding under this Code must be recorded by the court in writing or in any other suitable form of recording that can reduce the evidence to a readable form.
(2)  Evidence recorded in writing or, if it is not recorded in writing, the transcript of the evidence recorded, must be in English and signed by the judge hearing the case; and shall form part of the record.
(3)  Evidence recorded under this section may be taken down in the form of question and answer or in the form of a narrative, as the court thinks fit.
287.  [Repealed by Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
Interpretation of evidence to accused
288.—(1)  Where evidence is given in a language not understood by the accused and he is present in person, it must be interpreted for him immediately in a language which the court is satisfied he understands.
(2)  Where documents are put in for the purpose of formal proof, the court may choose to interpret for the accused as much of them as appears necessary.
Remarks as to demeanour of witness
289.  During or after the recording of the evidence in the course of any proceeding under this Code, the court hearing the proceeding may record any remarks that it thinks material about the demeanour of the witness while under examination.
How previous conviction or acquittal may be proved
290.—(1)  In any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code, a previous conviction or acquittal or any order of court relevant to the case may be proved, in addition to any other way provided by law —
(a)by an extract certified to be a copy of the sentence or order by the officer who has custody of the records of the court in which that conviction, acquittal or order was carried out, whether in Singapore or elsewhere; or
(b)alternatively —
(i)in the case of a previous conviction in Singapore, either by a certificate signed by the officer who has custody of the records of the prison in Singapore in which the punishment or any part of it was inflicted, or by production of the warrant of commitment under which the punishment was suffered; or
(ii)in the case of a previous conviction elsewhere, either by a certificate signed by the officer in charge of the prisons in that place in which the punishment or any part of it was inflicted, or by production of the warrant of commitment under which the punishment was suffered,
together with evidence as to the identity of the accused and the person so convicted or acquitted or against whom the order was made.
(2)  The certificate referred to in subsection (1)(b) purporting to be signed by the officer who has custody of the records of the prison in Singapore or elsewhere shall be admitted in evidence on its production by the prosecution without proof of signature and, until the contrary is proved, shall be proof of all matters contained therein.
Accused not to give evidence except on oath or affirmation
291.—(1)  In all criminal proceedings, the accused may not give evidence except on oath or affirmation, and if he does so, he is liable to cross-examination.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
(2)  An accused who is not represented by an advocate has the right to address the court without being sworn or affirmed in circumstances where, if he were so represented, the advocate could address the court on his behalf.
(3)  If an accused —
(a)after being called by the court to give evidence or after he or the advocate representing him has informed the court that he will give evidence, refuses to be sworn or affirmed; or
(b)having been sworn or affirmed, without good cause refuses to answer any question,
the court, in deciding whether the accused is guilty of the offence, may draw such inferences from the refusal as appear proper.
(4)  This section does not compel the accused to give evidence on his own behalf, and he will not be guilty of contempt of court if he refuses to be sworn or affirmed in the circumstances of subsection (3)(a).
(5)  For the purposes of this section, an accused who, having been sworn or affirmed, refuses to answer a question shall be taken to do so without good cause unless —
(a)he is entitled to refuse to answer by section 122(4) of the Evidence Act (Cap. 97) or another written law or on the ground of privilege; or
(b)the court excuses him from answering it.
(6)  Subsection (3) does not apply to an accused if it appears to the court that his physical or mental condition makes it undesirable for him to be called on to give evidence.
Procedure when accused does not understand proceedings
292.—(1)  If an accused, though not of unsound mind, cannot understand or be made to understand the proceedings, the court may proceed with the trial.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
(2)  For all courts other than the High Court, if the trial results in a conviction, then the court must forward the proceedings to the High Court with a report of the circumstances of the case and the High Court must make such order or pass such sentence as it thinks fit.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
Record of evidence in absence of accused
293.—(1)  If it is proved that an accused has absented himself so that there is no immediate prospect of arresting him, the court competent to try the accused may, in his absence, examine any witnesses produced on the prosecution’s behalf and record their depositions.
(2)  These depositions may, on the arrest of the accused, be given in evidence against him at the trial for the relevant offence, if the deponent is dead or incapable of giving evidence or his attendance cannot be procured without unreasonable delay, expense or inconvenience.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]
(3)  If it appears that an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life has been committed by some person or persons unknown, a Magistrate’s Court may hold an inquiry and examine any witnesses who can give evidence concerning the offence.
(4)  Any deposition so taken under subsection (3) may be given in evidence against any person who is subsequently accused of the offence if the deponent is dead or incapable of giving evidence or is outside Singapore.
Procedure when prospective witness is ill
294.—(1)  Where it appears to a Magistrate that a person able to give material evidence for the prosecution or defence concerning any offence is so dangerously ill that it is not practicable to take his evidence according to the usual course of law, any Magistrate may take the deposition of that person provided that reasonable notice has been given to the prosecutor and the accused of his intention to take it and of when and where he intends to take it.
(2)  If the accused is in custody, a Judge or a Magistrate may order the officer in charge of the prison to, and the officer must, take the accused to the place and at the time notified.
(3)  Where it is proved at the trial of the accused that the deponent is dead, or that he cannot attend for any sufficient reason, the deposition may be read even though the accused was absent when it was taken if the court trying the case is satisfied that —
(a)the deponent was at the time of his examination so dangerously ill as mentioned in subsection (1);
(b)the deposition was duly taken at the place and time notified; and
(c)reasonable notice of the intention to take it was given to the person against whom it is tendered in evidence so that he or his advocate might have been present and might have had, if he had chosen to be present, full opportunity of cross-examination.
Taking of evidence before trial
295.—(1)  Subject to subsection (2), where an application is made by the Public Prosecutor or the accused to a court for the evidence of a witness to be taken at any time before the date on which a criminal matter is fixed for trial, the court shall take the evidence of the witness appearing before it.
(2)  An application under subsection (1) can only be made if it is shown with respect to the witness that it is not reasonably practicable to secure his attendance at the time fixed for the trial.
(3)  The proceeding under this section must be conducted in the presence of the accused and co-accused, if any.
(4)  The witness called by a party to give evidence in the proceeding under this section may be cross-examined by any other party to the proceeding, after which the witness may be re-examined by the party calling him to give evidence.
(5)  Any statement of a witness taken in proceedings under this section may be given in evidence in any trial under this Code (whether or not by the same judge hearing the proceedings) although the person is not called as a witness.
Deposition of medical witness
296.  If the court is satisfied that grave inconvenience would otherwise be caused, it may, if it thinks fit, allow the deposition of a medical officer of the Government or other medical witness taken and attested by a Magistrate in the presence of the accused to be given in evidence in any trial under this Code, although the deponent is not called as a witness.
Deposition of certain other witnesses
297.  Whenever, at a committal hearing under Division 2 of Part X as in force immediately before the date of commencement of section 47 of the Criminal Justice Reform Act 2018, the evidence of any witness has been taken for the purpose of proving the custody or disposal of any matter or thing forwarded in the course of the inquiry to any public officer for examination or analysis or report, or of proving the custody or disposal of any instrument, weapon, matter or thing used in or for the commission of any offence, or of proving the accuracy of any plan or survey made or photograph taken by that witness for the purpose of the case, the High Court may, if it thinks fit, allow the deposition of that witness, taken and attested by an examining Magistrate in the presence of the accused to be given in evidence in any trial before the High Court although the deponent is not called as a witness.
[Act 19 of 2018 wef 17/09/2018]