Lies by accused corroborating State case (Zimbabwe)

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The person you are defending may have told lies to the police during investigations. Under cross-examination by the prosecutor he may relate a story which is obviously false. The prosecutor may argue that these lies can corroborate the evidence given by State witnesses. The courts have laid down that for such a lie to be capable of amounting to corroboration of the testimony of a State witness:

  • The lie must be deliberate;
  • It must relate to a material issue;
  • The motive for the lie must be a realisation of guilt and a fear of the truth;
  • The statement must be clearly shown to be a lie by evidence other than that of the witness who is to be corroborated.

It has been stated that too much weight should not be attached to lies told by the accused. The court must guard against drawing an inference of the accused's guilt solely on the basis of lies told by him: Nyoni S-118-90.

See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual