A presentation by Judge Malcolm Simmons
What delegates said about Malcolm Simmons
“A thought-provoking presentation by a highly skilled lawyer and presenter”
High Court Judge
Proof of knowledge and intent is an essential element in corruption cases.
Because knowledge and intent are states of mind of the subject, courts permit these elements to be inferred from all of the facts and circumstances, in other words, to be proven by circumstantial evidence.
In the United States a typical US jury instruction would be:
“Intent may be proved by circumstantial evidence. Indeed, it can rarely be established by any other means. We simply cannot look into the head or mind of another person. But you may infer the Defendant’s intent from all of the surrounding circumstances. You may consider any statement made or act done or omitted by the Defendant and all the facts and circumstances in evidence which indicate the Defendant’s state of mind.”
In a corruption cases circumstantial evidence of knowledge and intent might include proof that the subject, or someone acting at his or her direction, deliberately:
- Altered or forged a relevant document, such as a supporting document submitted with a bid or invoice;
- Deliberately destroyeda relevant document, or improperly withheld it from investigators;
- Liedto investigators or to another party about a material point to hide their guilt, for example, in a bribery case, lied about the source of sudden new wealth;
- Obstructedthe investigation by, for example, instructing or threatening a potential witnesses not to meet with or cooperate with investigators;
- Committed prior similar acts, which demonstrated that the acts currently under investigation were done knowingly and wilfully, and not accidentally or innocently.