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18 June, 2024
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Cyprus scraps unsworn defendant statements in trials

Defendants will from now on either testify under oath or avoid cross examination by remaining silent


Unsworn defendant statements will be a thing of the past in the Republic of Cyprus, with government officials saying the practice that prevented cross-examination was trouble in the delivery of justice.

According to local media, the right for a defendant to submit an unsworn statement will be removed from all criminal cases filed after 29 April 2022.

Unsworn testimonies have been a matter of controversy within the justice system of the Republic of Cyprus, as the accused could effectively present his or her version of facts without being subject to cross-examination.

But after parliament passed new legislation on criminal procedure, defendants will now have only two options: testify under oath and face cross-examination or remain silent to exercise the right against self-incrimination.

The news came following reports based on the 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard that described the performance of the Cyprus justice system as the “worst in the EU.”

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