A KGB statement is a videotaped statement by a witness that can be played in court as evidence even if the witness recants it. The statement is named after the name of the Supreme Court case that established this principle. Four conditions must be present before a KGB statement is played in court:
Conditions for KGB statement
- The statement must be made under oath, or solemn affirmation or solemn declaration. This means that it must be made with the person promising to tell the truth under in a circumstance where lying would be a crime.
- The person making the statement needs to be warned very clearly that giving a false statement in the situation would be a lie.
- The entire statement needs to be on video.
- The person that the witness is testifying against needs to be given a chance to question the witness in court by cross-examination through his/her lawyer.
If you are looking to provide a recorded statement to police, you should speak to an experienced criminal lawyer first to understand your rights and the consequences of speaking to the police. If a person lies under oath he or she can be charged with perjury. A conviction for perjury is something that can negatively affect future court proceedings for a witness.
In the case where a complainant changes his/her mind and wants the charges against the accused dropped, it is very important that he or she tells the truth. Even if a person is not charged with perjury for providing false information to the police he or she can be charged with misleading police. Anybody looking to recant an allegation of domestic assault or any other criminal offence should first seek independent legal advice. Doing this ensures that he or she is acting within the bounds of the law and will not be subject to criminal charges.