Third, an adverse inference can be made from the fabrication of an alibi. There is an important distinction between a false and fabricated alibi. A false alibi is one that is deemed untrue. It can be based on an honest but mistaken belief by the accused about their whereabouts at the time the offence took place.
On the other hand, a fabricated alibi is not only untrue, it was also purposely created by the accused in order to mislead and deceive authorities. In other words, the accused deliberately lied about the alibi in order to divert suspicion away from himself. This difference is important, as it is only allowable for the judge or jury to make an inference of guilt where the accused fabricated an alibi.
3. Notice of alibi
Therefore, mere disbelief of an alibi is not proof of guilt. The alibi does not need to be revealed by the accused himself. In other words, third party disclosure, for example from alibi witnesses or defence counsel, is permitted. In addition, there are some instances where disclosure of an alibi is not necessary. In situations where the police are aware of the people the accused was allegedly with when the crime took place, the accused is under no obligation to reveal their alibi to the authorities.
The best alibi is one that is supported by independent evidence or an impartial witness. It is at this stage of the proceedings that the Trial Chamber will receive information relevant to the alibi. Furthermore, read together, the list of witnesses, the summary of their testimonies and the points in the indictment as to which they will testify, should provide the Chamber with particulars sufficient to determine the extent of the alibi. A The Trial Chamber may hold a Conference prior to the commencement by the defence of its case. B At that Conference, the Trial Chamber or a Judge, designated from among its members, may order that the defence, before the commencement of its case but after the close of the case for the prosecution, file the following:.
The Trial Chamber or the Judge may order the Defence to provide the Trial Chamber with copies of the written statements of each witness whom the Defence intends to call to testify. Before considering in turn the various errors alleged by the Appellant, the Appeals Chamber notes that the Trial Chamber correctly enunciated the law applicable to alibi in paragraph 99 of the Judgement, which reads as follows:. The onus is on the Prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of the Accused.
In establishing its case, when an alibi defence is introduced, the Prosecution must prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Accused was present and committed the crimes for which he is charged and thereby discredit the alibi defence. The alibi defence does not carry a separate burden of proof.
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The Appeals Chamber recalls that, in raising an alibi defence, the defendant is claiming that, objectively, he was not in a position to commit the crime. In alleging an alibi, the accused merely obliges the Prosecution to demonstrate that there is no reasonable likelihood that the alibi is true. See also Niyitegeka Appeal Judgement, para. See also Limaj et al.
Where an alibi is properly raised, the Prosecution must establish beyond reasonable doubt that, despite the alibi, the facts alleged are nevertheless true. Appeal Judgement, paras. The burden of proving beyond reasonable doubt the facts charged remains squarely on the shoulders of the Prosecution. Indeed, it is incumbent on the Prosecution to establish beyond reasonable doubt that, despite the alibi, the facts alleged are nevertheless true. The Appeals Chamber recalls that the manner in which an alibi is presented may impact its credibility. The Appeals Chamber has previously upheld the inference drawn by a trial chamber that failure to raise an alibi in a timely manner suggested fabrication of the alibi in order to respond to the Prosecution case.
See also Setako Appeal Judgement, fn. Appeal Judgement where the Appeals Chamber found that there is no obligation on the Prosecution to investigate an alibi. The Appeals Chamber notes that not only has Ndahimana failed to raise this contention in his Notice of Appeal or Appeal Brief, but that he also merely states that the issue should be revisited without providing any arguments in support of his contention. In that sense, an alibi differs from a defence in the above-mentioned sense in one crucial aspect. In the case of a defence, the criminal conduct has already been established and is not necessarily disputed by the accused who argues that due to specific circumstances he or she is not criminally responsible, e.
The Appeals Chamber notes that with regard to alibi, the Trial Chamber stated that:. If the alibi is reasonably possibly true, it will be successful.
This definition is legally beyond reproach and shows that the Trial Chamber was aware of the applicable burden of proof. The Appeals Chamber recalls that Rule 67 A ii a of the Rules requires the Defence to notify the Prosecution before the commencement of trial of its intent to rely on an alibi. Kalimanzira Appeal Judgement, paras. Therefore, the Appeals Chamber does not find that the Trial Chamber erred in law by comparing its observations during the site visit with the evidence of the alibi witnesses.
The Appeals Chamber will therefore turn to consider whether the Trial Chamber was reasonable in this comparison. Although the Zigiranyirazo case concerned not only the question of timing but also the route taken, the Appeals Chamber considers that the reasoning in that case is equally applicable to the general timing of a trip along a given route. An alibi does not constitute a defence in its proper sense.
The Appeals Chamber has considered on several occasions whether Trial Chambers have erroneously shifted the burden of proof to the accused with respect to their alibis.
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In assessing whether a Trial Chamber, when using this type of language, has in fact shifted the burden of proof, the Appeals Chamber carries out an in-depth analysis of the specific findings related to a given incident. This is especially the case where the Trial Chamber accurately refers elsewhere in the judgement to the appropriate burden of proof for the evaluation of alibi evidence, its overall approach evinces a careful assessment of the alibi evidence, and its conclusion that the alibi evidence is ultimately not credible is reasonable when weighed against the evidence of participation in a crime.
Trial Judgement, para. The Prosecution must not only rebut the validity of the alibi but also establish beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the Accused as alleged in the Indictment. This presumption places on the Prosecution the burden of establishing the guilt of the accused, a burden which remains on the Prosecution throughout the entire trial.
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A finding of guilt may be reached only when a majority of the Trial Chamber is satisfied that guilt has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. See also Nahimana et al.
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See also Muhimana Appeal Judgement, para. In view of the clear legal error in the application of the burden of proof, the Appeals Chamber will proceed to consider the relevant evidence de novo under the correct legal standard.
Accordingly, the Appeals Chamber finds that the alibi evidence casts doubt on the Prosecution evidence placing him at the Kiyovu Roadblock on 12 and 17 April The crimes Zigiranyirazo was accused of were very grave, meriting the most careful of analyses. Instead, the Trial Judgement misstated the principles of law governing the distribution of the burden of proof with regards to alibi and seriously erred in its handling of the evidence.
Ilsa Mayr. Cybil Quindt, recovering from the devastating grief caused by the death of her young son the year before and the subsequent estrangement from her physician husband, embraces the career and life change offered her as a trainee in her uncle's respectable security agency. Her seemingly innocuous first case as an apprentice P. Against the wishes of her estranged husband, Cybil pushes forward into an ever-growing web of deceit - familial love turned destructive in the grand manner of a Greek tragedy.
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