Witness Protection Bill 2017 at second reading

A Witness Protection Bill, 2017 that will seeks to protect witnesses, experts and their relatives as a result of their testimony in criminal investigations against potential retaliation or intimidation, is at the second reading stage at Parliament.

According to the Report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Witness Protection Bill,2017 the purpose of the Bill is to establish a Witness Protection Agency to administer a witness protection programme.

Witnesses can freely only offer testimonies when there is confidence and trust in the legal environment. There is therefore the need to provide full support and protection to witnesses for fear of retaliatory attacks to themselves and their relations.

In line with the above, certain international instruments make provisions for affording effective protection to witnesses and their relatives as a critical step towards combating crimes especially corruption.

One of such international instruments is the United Nations Convention against Corruption(UNCAC),which was ratified by Ghana on the 27th June,2007.

The implementation of the programme by the Agency would protect witnesses, experts and their relatives against potential retaliation or intimidation as a result of their cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

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