Section 143: Any person who attempts to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice, is guilty of a crime.
This law is often applied where people unlawfully attempt to affect the outcome of a trial or investigation, whether through threats, bribes or undue pressure.
The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.
(1) That the person attempted to obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice; and
(2) That the person’s attempt had the intention of obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice.
The Police do not have to prove that the course of justice was actually affected, nor that the actual intention of the party was to do so. The intention of the party must have been do an act which would have the effect of defeating the course of justice.
(a) Identification (ie. The accused was not the person);
(b) There was no intention to pervert the course of justice; and
It is not a defence that the attempt could not have actually affected the course of justice if the intention was there.
The matter would be heard in the District Court.