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CHAPTER: 08:02

Part:XV Discharge of Accused Persons (ss 278-282)

Discharge of Accused Persons (ss 278-282)

[Ch0802s278]278.   Dismissal of charge in default of prosecution

            (1) If the prosecutor (whether public or private) in the case of a trial by the High Court, having given notice of trial, does not appear to prosecute the indictment against the accused before the close of the session of that court before which he gave notice of trial or, in the case of a trial by a magistrate's court, does not appear on the court day appointed for the trial, the accused may move the court to discharge him, and the indictment or summons may be dismissed, and, when the accused or any other person on his behalf has been bound by recognizance for the appearance of the accused so to take his trial, may further move the court that such recognizance be discharged, and such recognizance may thereupon be discharged.

            (2) Where the indictment is at the instance of a private party the accused may move the court that the private prosecutor and his sureties shall be called on their recognizance, and, in default of his appearance, that the same be estreated. The accused may also apply for an order directing that the private prosecutor pay the costs incurred by the accused in preparing his defence.

            (3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as depriving the Director of Public Prosecutions, or the public prosecutor with his authority or on his behalf, of the right of withdrawal of any indictment or summons at any time, and lodging a fresh indictment or issuing and serving a fresh summons for hearing before the same or any other competent court:

            Provided that the proviso to section 150(4) shall apply mutatis mutandis to such withdrawal.

[Ch0802s279]279.   Liberation of accused persons

            (1) The High Court shall, at the close of each of its criminal sessions, discharge from custody all such accused persons as are then in custody and by law are then entitled to be discharged.

            (2) Any person who has been acquitted on any indictment or summons in a magistrate's court or whose case therein has been dismissed for want of prosecution shall forthwith be discharged out of custody.

[Ch0802s280]280.   General gaol delivery and returns

            For the purposes of sections 133 and 279, the High Court may have regard to any general gaol return delivered under the provisions of the Cap. 21:03 Prisons Act, or any regulations made thereunder.

[Ch0802s281]281.   Discharge from imprisonment or expiration of recognizance no bar to trial

            Neither discharge from imprisonment nor the expiration of the recognizance shall be a bar to any person being brought to trial in any competent court for any offence for which he was formerly committed to prison or admitted to bail.

[Ch0802s282]282.   Accused not brought to trial not obliged to find further bail

            No person who has been admitted to bail and who has not been duly brought to trial or who has been discharged from custody pursuant to section 279 shall be obliged to find further bail or shall be liable to be committed to custody either for examination or trial for the same offence in respect of which he was formerly admitted to bail:

            Provided that the Director of Public Prosecutions may, notwithstanding the discharge of the accused from custody pursuant to section 279 or the expiration of his bail, at any time before the period of prescription for such offence has run out, indict the accused in any competent court, and if the accused, having been duly served with such indictment and notice of trial, fails to appear at the time mentioned in such notice, the court in which he is indicted may, on the application of the Director of Public Prosecutions, issue a warrant for the accused's arrest and detention in prison until he can be brought to trial or until he finds bail for his appearance to stand his trial on the said indictment.