In the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (c 25) (in this Part referred to as “the 1996 Act”), in subsection (1)(a) of section 3 (primary disclosure by prosecutor)—
(a) for “in the prosecutor's opinion might undermine” there is substituted “might reasonably be considered capable of undermining”;
(b) after “against the accused” there is inserted “or of assisting the case for the accused”.
(1) In section 5 of the 1996 Act (compulsory disclosure by accused), after subsection (5) there is inserted—
“(5A) Where there are other accused in the proceedings and the court so orders, the accused must also give a defence statement to each other accused specified by the court.
(5B) The court may make an order under subsection (5A) either of its own motion or on the application of any party.
(5C) A defence statement that has to be given to the court and the prosecutor (under subsection (5)) must be given during the period which, by virtue of section 12, is the relevant period for this section.
(5D) A defence statement that has to be given to a co-accused (under subsection (5A)) must be given within such period as the court may specify.”
(2) After section 6 of that Act there is inserted—
(1) For the purposes of this Part a defence statement is a written statement—
(a) setting out the nature of the accused's defence, including any particular defences on which he intends to rely,
(b) indicating the matters of fact on which he takes issue with the prosecution,
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