Calling accused to give evidence (Zimbabwe)

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Defence counsel needs to decide whether X should give testimony in his own defence. Sometimes X's legal representative will decide that it would be inadvisable for X to testify and will advise him accordingly. For example, the State case may be weak and the lawyer may decide that X will make a poor witness and may only end up strengthening the State's case if he is put on the witness stand. As the prosecutor and the judicial officer are entitled to question X even if he elects not to give evidence, it is generally better if X is called to give evidence. If he declines to give evidence, the court's reaction may be to believe that he has something to hide.

If X gives evidence in his defence the prosecutor can cross-examine him and he may also be questioned by the magistrate.

See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual