Payment of Per diem and Transportation Cost of Witnesses of Criminal Offences Council of Ministers Regulation No. 371-2015

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS REGULATION No.371/2015

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS REGULATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AND TRANSPORTATION COST OF WITNESSES OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES

 This Regulation is issued by the Council of Ministers pursuant to Article 5 of the Definition of Powers and Duties of the Executive Organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Proclamation No. 916/2015 and Article 31(1) of the Protection of Witnesses and Whistle-blowers of Criminal Offences Proclamation No. 699/2010.

Part One

General

  1. Short Title

This Regulation may be cited as the “Payment of Per diem and Transportation Cost of Witnesses of Criminal Offences Council of Ministers Regulation No. 371/2015’’.

  • Definitions         

In this Regulation, unless the context otherwise requires:

1/  “justice organ” means any federal  government  organ duly authorized to perform crime investigation by law, prosecute cases or give judgment upon hearing;

2/ “head of justice organ” means the principal including the deputy heads, as relevant to justice organ;

3/ “payment request form’’ means leaflet filled by witnesses of criminal offences for the request of per diem and transportation cost;

4/   any expressions in the masculine gender  includes the feminine.

  • Scope of Application

This  Regulation shall, except  the petty offences, be applicable to a witness who appears for provision of evidence or testimony in the process of  investigation, prosecution or adjudication of a criminal offence that falls under the jurisdiction of  federal courts.

Part Two

Payments of Per Diem and Transportation Cost

  • Responsibility of Justice Organs

1/  Any justice organ shall, in accordance with this  Regulation, cover per diem and transportation cost of a witnesses summoned by it;

2/   Notwithstanding the provision of sub-article (1) of this Article, this Regulation shall not be applicable to:

  1. a witness criminal offence that appears for provision of evidence or testimony for crimes punishable upon complaint as provided for under the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code;
  2. a witness of criminal offence who appears before justice organ to provide testimony but unwilling to testify;
  3. public servant who performs his professional duty or responsibility in relation to his  occupation;
  4. a witness of criminal offence suspected of false testimony; or
  5. defense witness of the accused.
  • Payment of Per Diem

The amount of per diem to be paid to a witness of criminal offence shall be:

1/ calculated on the basis of his salary in accordance with the directive applicable for payment of per diem of public servants,  if the witness is an employee of any undertaking; or

2/ the average per diem of civil servants as specified in the directive applicable for payment of per diem of public servants, if the witness is not an employee pursuant to sub-article (1) of this Article.

  • Payment of Transport Cost

1/   The amount of transportation cost to be paid to a witness of criminal offence shall be twice of the tariff paid for one trip public transportation.

2/ Notwithstanding sub-article (1) of this Article, if the witness of criminal offence is unable to use public transport and the head of justice organ permits the use of private vehicle, he shall be refunded the fuel expense incurred.

3/ When the crime cannot be proved otherwise than the testimony of the witness or the testimony is sought be given urgently and where the uses of the means of transportation specified under sub-articles (1) and (2) of this Article are not convenient, a flight cost shall be paid upon the approval of the head of the justice organ.

4/ The amount of transportation cost to be paid to a witness of criminal offence shall be calculated on the basis of the shortest distance from the residential or           occupational address specified on the summon.

5/ When the residential or occupation address specified in summon pursuant to sub- article (4) of this Article is incorrect and has a prejudice on the payment of    transport cost, the witness may apply to the justice organ for correction of such mistake.

6/  Any witness shall apply for the reimbursement of the cost incurred pursuant to sub-article (1), (2) or (3) of this Article attached with a filled payment request form and receipt of cost incurred.

7/  Notwithstanding to sub-article (6) of this Article, if the witness cannot produce receipt of payment for transport cost, a payment in accordance with public servants transportation cost payment system may be effected when substantiated by a convincing reason and approved by the head of justice organ; provided, however, that payment shall not be effected if receipt is not presented due to the fault of the witness.

  • Payment of Per Diem and Transportation Cost of Expert Witness

An expert witness otherwise than stipulated under Article 4  (2)  (c) of of this Regulation shall be:

1/  paid per diem and transportation cost pursuant to Article 5 and 6  of this Regulation, when he appears as a witness;

2/   reimbursed an exceptional expense he incurred as a result of the testimony he provided on the basis  of   receipt he presents.

  • Payment of Per Diem and Transportation Cost without Providing Testimony

The per diem and transportation cost shall  be paid to a witness who appears before justice organ and unable to provide testimony due to reasons not imputable to him.

  • Advance Payment

1/ The head of relevant justice organ may authorize advance payment of those payments stipulated under Article 5 and 6 of this Regulation, when it is believed that the witness is unable to appear in the time summoned because of financial constraints.

2/   The amount of advance payment to be effected pursuant to sub-article (1) of this Article shall not exceed half of the total amount; as the case may be, provided, however, that payment exceeding half of the total amount may be effected by the permission of the head of justice organ.

  1. Assistant to a Witness

1/  An assistant person who appears to assist a witness of criminal offence that needs support because of age factor, disability or sickness, shall be entitled to payments stipulated under Article 5 and 6 of this Regulation.

2/  An assistant person to a witness of criminal offence who appears in accordance with sub-article (1) of this Article shall not be more than one; provided, however, that if the condition of the witness justifies additional assistance and the head of justice organ is convinced, one additional assistant may be permitted.

  1. Filling and Submitting Payment Request Form

1/ Any witnesses of criminal offences shall have obligation to fill the payment request form truthfully and correctly.

 2/ The relevant justice organ shall have responsibility to verify the correctness of information filled on the payment request form pursuant to sub-article (1) of this Article.

  1. False Witness

Without prejudice to of Article 4 (2) (d) of this Regulation, if it is verified by the justice organ that a witness of criminal offence:

1/  is suspected for providing false testimony; or

2/  intentionally provides false information about his job, residence address and others similar facts with an intent to get higher payment;

The payment of per diem and transportation cost shall not be effected, if it is already paid up, it shall be returned back

  1. Applicability of other Regulations and Directives

The relevant federal laws shall be applicable for a witness of criminal offence regarding matters related to payment of per diem and transportation cost which are not covered by this Regulation.

  1. Effective Date

This  Regulation shall enter into force on the date of their publication in the Federal Negarit Gazette.

Done at Addis Ababa, this day of 5th  February, 2016

HAILEMARIAM  DESSALEGN

PRIME MINISTER OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA

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