Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section G. Examination of witnesses
Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act (1979), as amended to 1988, states:
18. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law[:]
(a) a statement recorded by a Magistrate, or made at an identification parade by a person who is dead or who cannot be found, shall be admissible in evidence notwithstanding that such person is not present or cannot or has not been cross[-]examined; and
(b) any document found in the custody, control or possession of a person accused of any offence under this Act or of an agent or representative of such person may be produced in court as evidence against such person without the maker of such document being called as a witness and the contents of such document shall be evidence of the facts stated therein.
Sri Lanka’s Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act (2007) states:
6. (1) [Notwithstanding] anything contained in Chapter XV of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979 [concerning cases which appear not to be triable summarily by the Magistrates’ Court but triable by the High Court], in the course of holding of an inquiry under the aforesaid Chapter, the following provisions shall apply to the taking of statements of persons who know the facts and circumstances of the case.
(b) The Magistrate shall not permit any cross[-]examination of the witness by the accused or his pleader, but the Magistrate may put to the witness, any clarification required by the accused or his pleader of any matter arising from the statement made by the wit[ne]ss in the course of the investigation, or any additions or alterations to his original statement if any, and may put to the witness any clarification which the Magistrate himself may require of any such matter. Every clarification so made shall be recorded:
Provided that having considered the nature of the material contained in the statement of a witness made to the police, the prosecution may tender the witness for cross examination by the accused or his pleader. …
(8) … [T]the Magistrate may, for reasons to be recorded and in the case of an expert witness, with the prior sanction of the Attorney-General, summon an expert witness or police officer to be present in Court for examination.
(9) Where an expert witness or a police officer appears in court in response to [a] summons issued on him under subsection (8), the Magistrate shall not permit any cross[-]examination of such expert witness or police officer by the accused or his pleader but may put to such expert witness or police officer, any clarifications that the accused or his pleader may require, of any matter arising from the report of the expert witness or the affidavit of the police officer, as the case may be, or from the examination of such expert witness or police officer, as the case may be, and the Magistrate may himself put to the witness any clarification that he may require of any such matter. Every clarification so made shall be recorded.