Republic v Lozaique (Criminal Side 86 of 2005) [2007] SCSC 85 (23 May 2007)








Criminal Side No. 86 of 2005


Mrs. Carollus for the Republic

Mr. Bonte for the Accused



Gaswaga, J


During the testimony of Sub-Inspector Roland Adelaide, the police officer who recorded the first and second statements under caution from the accused on the 16th August, 2005 and 1st September, 2005, defence counsel, Mr. Bonte objected to the second statement being admitted on the ground that the accused signed it without knowing the contents. That while at the police station the police officers asked him to sign an already written statement contents of which he contends were still unknown to him the same having been written obviously not be the accused but the police officers. That the accused does not know how to write. He does not read. This submission that the statement was not made or read back to the accused before he was asked to sign it.


The prosecution insists that the statement should be admitted and the court, while evaluating the entire evidence determine what weight to attach to the statement. It was also submitted that a voire dire was not necessary since the voluntariness of the statement was not in issue.


Once admitted the statement will be considered as evidence which will go a distance into incriminating the accused. It should be recalled that the accused has contested its contents in short saying that he does not know the contents of the statement which the witness claims the accused made although he signed it. How else can the allegation complained of by the accused be proved or inquired into? It is my considered view that although the usual practice is for a voire dire to be held with regards to the voluntariness of the statement the situation before us now inevitably and in the interest of justice call for a voire dire to be conducted, look into the circumstances under which the statement in question was recorded.


I accordingly order for a voire dire to be held.







Dated this 23rd day of May, 2007

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