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Corruption and Remedies against it


During a research recently carried out by TRANSCRIME on corruption in the 15 European Union countries, six main patterns of corruption and different patterns of criminal responses to corruption were outlined:

• systematic corruption (Italy, France, Spain and Belgium);

• emerging systematic corruption (Germany and Greece);

• sporadic corruption (Ireland, Austria and Portugal);

• casual corruption (the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and Sweden);

• English corruption (United Kingdom);

• managing others' corruption (Luxembourg).

With reference to legal responses the main criteria used for this analysis were:

a) the definition of the crime of corruption;

b) the distinction between passive and active corruption;

c) the definition of passive and active subjects involved in the crime of corruption; and

d) sanctions.

The results show that there is less homogeneity with respect to the definition of the crime of corruption. The differences in definition are related to the fact that corruption takes on different forms in the various European countries, depending on each cultural and social context. It is important to study the cultural background of the various countries in order to discover the constant elements of corruption and thus to adopt the most effective preventive measures. For instance, when referring to «corruption prone environment» in Italy, we are talking about a phenomenon that is deeply rooted in the cultural tradition of Italian society, in the sense that corrupt activities are practised and accepted by normal citizens. The penal codes of the United Kingdom and Germany envisage various levels of corruption crimes (misdemeanours or felonies), according to the position held by the actor. Another distinction is related to the nature of the corruption act, in that it may be linked with, or contrary to the functional role of the actor. In the case of the passive receipt of a bribe by a public official in order to speed up a service for which he/she is competent, the penalty of a fine is envisaged. On the other hand, a public official who authorises the issuance of a licence although this is not under his/her competence, is committing an offence. In Austria (Article 304, paragraph 1), Denmark (Article 144), Finland (Article 40), Germany (paragraph 332), the Netherlands (Article 363) passive corruption involving abuse of the public function is punished with a higher penalty than in the case of corruption that does not involve the abuse of a public function.

As far as the actual moment of the commission of the corruption crime is concerned, there are no major differences. What matters is the collusive agreement, in the sense that the corruption is perfectioned when the passive actor does not expressly refuse the advantage offered to him. The fact that the promise is really maintained is not relevant for the purposes of the commitment of the offence. According to German, Austrian, Greek and Danish legislation, the legal interest that is protected by the corruption law is violated by the simple collusive agreement. The legal authority has only to prove the abstract relationship between the illegitimate advantage and the performance or violation of the public function. Passive corruption involves the commission or omission of an act on the part of the passive actor.

With respect to an analysis of the sanctions, it can be noted that almost all countries envisage more severe sanctions for passive corruption since the beneficiary of the bribe holds a public office and therefore represents the state institutions. On the other hand, the same sanctions are envisaged for both the corrupter and the corrupted person in Italy, Portugal, Finland, Greece and Sweden. The penalties that are traditionally envisaged by all the countries studied are pecuniary sanctions and incarceration, the minimum and maxi­mum duration of which vary noticeably from one country to the other. The Netherlands and Portugal inflict the mildest sanctions for corruption crimes, with three and six months of imprisonment respectively. In addition to the traditional sanctions, several countries envisage additional sanctions. In Finland, Sweden and Greece the authorities can confiscate illicit proceeds and, in some cases, inflict disciplinary measures such as dismissal from work. If the profits gained from corruption cannot be found, the Romanian penal law imposes the payment of a sum equivalent to the benefit received on behalf of the corrupted person.

In the Russian Federation and Ukraine alongside the confiscation of illicit proceeds, conspicuous parts of the condemned person's patrimony are requisitioned. Austria, Finland, also envisage more severe penalties in the case of aggravating circumstances. In Austria, a circumstance is aggravated if the bribe is higher then a particular sum of money, while in Finland an «outstanding» amount of money must be involved. In the remaining four countries mentioned above, recidivist behaviour, the involvement of con­spicuous sums of money, the corruption of experts, provocation, extortion and the particular role held by the passive actor, are considered aggravating circumstances. Several countries also envisage exceptional circumstances in addition to the aggravating circum­stances. Austria and Denmark, for example, tolerate the payment of small sums for anniversaries.

Module 3



Participation in class activities
Current grammar tests
Module test
Individual task

Witness for the Prosecution

(The extracts below are taken from the script "Witness for the Prosecution", which is an adaptation of Agatha Christie's story of the same name.)


Leonard Stephen Vole: a handsome young man of about thirty, who is accused of murdering Mrs Emily French

Christine Vole (Helm): Leonard Vole's wife, a good-looking woman of over thirty, of Austrian origin

Sir Wilfred Robart: Leonard Vole's Counsel for the Defence, one of the finest and most experienced barristers1 in London

Mayherne: Leonard Vole's solicitor1

Myers: Counsel for the Prosecution

Hearne: Chief Inspector of New Scotland Yard2

Carter: Sir Wilfred's office clerk

The Judge (in court)

Court Clerk (in court)

Scene one

(In Sir Wilfred's Office. Mr Mayherne and his client, Leonard Vole, come to Sir Wilfred's office. Mr Mayherne urges Sir Wilfred to take the case of Leonard Vole, who may be arrested any minute on the charge of murdering Mrs Emily French. Mrs Emily French, a wealthy widow, was murdered two days ago. Mrs French left £80,000 to Leonard Vole. Leonard Vole had visited Mrs French earlier in the evening on the night of the murder. It is quite obvious that he is regarded as the principal and logical suspect in the case.

Sir Wilfred hesitates — he has not yet recovered from a serious heart attack, with which he has been laid up in hospital for two months. The doctors have forbidden him to take up criminal cases. Miss Plimsoll, a trained nurse, sees to it that he follows the doctors’ instructions. Therefore Sir Wilfred refuses to take Leonard Vole's case. He starts to go up to his bedroom — he has to have an after-lunch nap. Suddenly he sees two cigars in Mr Mayherne's vest pocket. He is tempted — he is not allowed to smoke. He returns and invites Mayherne into his study, saying he would like to give him a word of advice.)

Mayherne: It's the case of Mrs Emily French. You've probably seen the reports in the press. She was a middle-aged widow, rather well-off, living with a housekeeper at Hampstead. Mr Vole had been with her earlier in the evening. When the housekeeper returned from her day off, she found her mistress dead, struck on the back of the head and killed.

Sir Wilfred: I see.

Mayherne: Vole seems a harmless chap caught in the web of circumstantial evidence. Perhaps if I were to give you more of the details you might suggest the strongest line of defence.

Sir Wilfred: Probably I'd think better if you gave me one of those cigars.

Mayherne (giving him a cigar): Of course. There are no previous convictions naturally. He's a man of good character3 with an excellent war record.4 You'd like him a lot.

Sir Wilfred: Give me a light, please.

Mayherne: I am sorry I haven't got any matches. Let me get you some. (Starting for the door): Mr Vole may have some matches.

Sir Wilfred: Lord, no. You don't know Miss Plimsoll. This will take all our cunning. (Opening the door, to Leonard Vole): Young man, come here, please. Your solicitor and I feel you may be able to enlighten me on a rather important point.

(Vole comes in.)

Sir Wilfred: Give me a match

Vole: Sorry, I never carry them.

Sir Wilfred: What? (To Mayherne): You said I'd like him.

Vole: But I do have a lighter.

Sir Wilfred: You are quite right, Mayherne, I do like him. (Returning the lighter): Thank you. Can you imagine Miss Plimsoll's face if she saw me now!

Vole: Then let's make absolutely sure that she doesn't. (He turns the key in the lock.)

Sir Wilfred: Splendid! All the instincts of a skilled criminal.

Vole: (smiling): Thank you, sir.

Sir Wilfred: Sit here. Young man, you may or may not have murdered a middle-aged widow, but you've certainly saved the life of an elderly barrister.

Vole: I haven't murdered anybody. It's absurd! Christine, that's my wife, she thought I might be implicated and that I needed a lawyer. That's why I went to see Mr Mayherne. Now he thinks he needs a lawyer1 and now I have two lawyers. It's rather silly, don't you think?

Mayherne: Vole, I am a solicitor. Sir Wilfred is a barrrister. Only a barrister can actually plead a case in court.

Vole: Oh, I see. Well, I saw in a paper that poor Mrs French had been found dead with her head bashed in. It was also said in the papers that the police were very anxious to interview me since I visited Mrs French that evening. So naturally I went along to the police station.

Sir Wilfred: Did they caution you?

Vole: I don't quite know. They asked me if I'd like to make a statement and said they'd write it down and that it might be used against me in court. Were they cautioning me?

Sir Wilfred: Well, it can't be helped now.

Vole: They were very polite. They seemed quite satisfied.

Mayherne: They seemed satisfied. Mr Vole, you think you made a statement and that's the end of it. Isn't it obvious to you, Mr Vole, that you will be regarded as the principal and logical suspect in this case? I am very much afraid you'll be arrested.

Vole: But I've done nothing. Why should I be arrested?

Mayherne: Relax, Mr Vole. I am putting you in the hands of the finest and most experienced barrister in London.

Sir Wilfred: No, Mayherne, let's get this straight. I may have done something highly unethical. I've taken your cigar. I am not taking your case I can't, it's forbidden. My doctors would never allow it. (To Vole): I am truly sorry, young man. However, if you'd like the case handled by someone of these chambers I recommend Mr Brogan-Moore. (To Mayherne): You know Brogan-Moore?

Mayherne: Yes, I do, a very able man. I second Sir Wilfred's recommendation.

Vole: All right, sir, if you say so.

Scene two

(In Sir Wilfred's study. Leonard Vole is arrested and taken to jail. Brogan-Moore, the barrister Sir Wilfred recommended for the defence counsel and Sir Wilfred are waiting for Mrs Vole. Suddenly she appears in the doorway. Mrs Vole is a good-looking woman, self-possessed and very quiet. So quiet as to make one uneasy. From the very first Sir Wilfred is conscious he is up against something that he does not understand.)

Sir Wilfred (not noticing Mrs Vole, to Brogan-Moore): Oh, about Mrs Vole. Handle her gently, especially in breaking the news of the arrest. Bear in mind she is a foreigner, so be prepared for hysterics and even a fainting spell.5 Better have smelling salts6 ready.

Christine (standing in the doorway): I don't think that will be necessary. I never faint because I am not sure that I will fall gracefully and I never use smelling salts. I'm Christine Vole.

Sir Wilfred (holding out his hand to her): How do you do. This is Mr Brogan-Moore.

Brogan-Moore: How do you do.

Sir Wilfred: I am Wilfred Robart. My dear Mrs Vole, I'm afraid we have rather bad news for you.

Christine: Don't be afraid, Sir Wilfred, I'm quite disciplined.

Sir Wilfred: There is nothing to be alarmed at.

Christine: Leonard has been arrested and charged with murder. Is that it?

Sir Wilfred: Yes.

Christine: I knew he would be. I told him so.

Brogan-Moore: Mrs Vole, you know that Mrs French left your husband money?

Christine: Yes, a lot of money.

Brogan-Moore: Of course your husband had no previous knowledge of this bequest?7

Christine: Is that what he told you?

Brogan-Moore: Well, surely, Mrs Vole, you're not suggesting anything different?

Christine: Oh, no, no. I do not suggest anything!

Sir Wilfred: Pardon me, Brogan-Moore. Mrs Vole, do you mind if I ask you a question?

Christine: Go right ahead,8 Sir Wilfred.

Sir Wilfred: Mrs Vole, you realize your husband's entire defence rests on his word and yours?

Christine: I realize that.

Sir Wilfred: And that the jury will be quite sceptical of the word of a man accused of murder when supported only by the word of his wife?

Christine: I realize that too.

Sir Wilfred: Mrs Vole, I assume you want to help your husband.

Christine: Of course I want to help Leonard. I want to help Mr Brogan-Moore and I want to help you, Sir Wilfred.

Sir Wilfred: Now, Mrs Vole, this is very important. On the night of the murder your husband came home before nine-thirty. Is that correct?

Christine: Precisely. Isn't that what he wants me to say? (The two lawyers exchange bewildered glances. Her answers puzzle them.)

Brogan-Moore: But isn't it the truth?

Christine: Of course. But when I told it to the police I do not think they believed me. Maybe I didn't say it well. Maybe because of my accent.

Brogan-Moore: You are aware of course that when I put you in the witness box, you will be sworn in and you will testify under oath?

Christine: Yes... "Leonard came at 9.26 precisely and did not go out again." "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!" (The two barristers are astounded.)

Sir Wilfred: Mrs Vole, do you love your husband?

Christine: Leonard thinks I do.

Sir Wilfred: Well, do you?

Christine:' Am I already under oath?

Sir Wilfred: Mrs Vole, do you know that under British law you cannot be called to give testimony damaging to your husband?

Christine: How very convenient!

Sir Wilfred (indignant at Christine's cynicism): We are dealing with a capital crime! The prosecution will try to hang your husband!

Christine (unemotionally): He is not my husband. (Sir Wilfred and Brogan-Moore are shocked.)

Christine: Leonard and I went through a form of marriage in Hamburg, but I had a husband living at the time somewhere in East Germany.

Sir Wilfred: Did you tell Leonard?

Christine: I did not. It would have been stupid to tell him. He would not have married me and I would have been left behind to starve.

Brogan-Moore: But he did marry you and brought you safely to this country. Don't you think you should be very grateful to him?

Christine: One can get very tired of gratitude.

Sir Wilfred: Your husband loves you very much, does he not?

Christine: Leonard? He worships the ground I walk on.9

Sir Wilfred: And you?

Christine: You want to know too much. Auf Wiedersehen, gentlemen.

Sir Wilfred (bitterly): Thank you for coming, Mrs Vole. Your visit has been most reassuring.

Christine: Do not worry, Sir Wilfred. I will give him an alibi and I shall be very convincing. There will be tears in my eyes when I say: "Leonard came home at nine twenty-six precisely."

Sir Wilfred: You are a very remarkable woman, Mrs Vole.

Christine: And you are satisfied, I hope. (She goes out.)

Sir Wilfred: I'm damned if I'm satisfied! That woman is up to something,10 but what?

Brogan-Moore: Well, the prosecution will break her down in no time11 when I put her in the witness-box. You know defending this case is going to be quite one-sided. I haven't got much to go on,12 have I? The fact is I've got nothing.

Sir Wilfred: Let me ask you something... Do you believe Leonard Vole is innocent? (Brogan-Moore does not ans­wer.) Do you? (As Brogan-Moore still keeps silent he repeats the question.) Do you?

Brogan-Moore: I'm not sure. I'm sorry, Wilfred. Of course I'll do my best.

Sir Wilfred: It's all right, Brogan-Moore. I'll take it from here.13

(to be continued)



1. barristeris alawyer who has the right to plead a case in courts of law in Great Britain (адвокат, защитник). To be a barrister a man must be a member of one of the four Inns of Court (law societies which have the exclusive right of admitting persons to the bar) and pass the Bar examination. When a young barrister begins his professional career he must join the 'chambers' (the office) of an established barrister. Solicitoris a member of the legal profession competent to advise clients, instruct and prepare cases for barristers, but not to appear as advocate except in certain lower courts (присяжный, стряпчий, поверенный). In order to become a solicitor a person must spend some time working in the office of an already established firm of solicitors, and successfully pass the examinations of the Law Society. Lawyer:one who has studied law and practises law, esp. an attorney or a solicitor (юрист).

2. New Scotland Yardis the name of the London Police headquarters. Scotland Yard is the name of the Criminal Investigation Department of New Scotland Yard.

3. a man of good character:a man of good reputation

4. an excellent war record:excellent conduct during military service (in the war)

5. have a fainting spell:to lose consciousness

6. smelling salts:a mixture with a sharp smell that helps to bring somebody who has fainted back to consciousness

7. bequest:smth. that is left to smb. after one's death

8. Go right ahead, Sir Wilfred(here): "Ask your question, Sir Wilfred."

9. He worships the ground I walk on."He adores me."

10. That woman is up to something.... "That woman is planning something...."

11. ...the prosecution will break her down in no time: "...the prosecution will make her lose her self-control very quickly."

12. I haven't got much to goon."I have very little evidence to build the defence upon."

13. I'll take it from here."I'll take the case over from you."


Words and word combinations

witness- свидетель (в суде)

witness for the Prosecution - свидетель обвинения

witness for the Defence - свидетель защиты

surprise witness - свидетель, о котором не было заявлено заранее

witness-box n - место для свидетелей (в суде)

witness v - быть очевидцем, быть свидетелем происшествия

prosecution n - обвинение

Counsel for the Prosecution - обвинитель, прокурор

appear for the Prosecution - представлять обвинение, являться обвинителем (на судебном процессе)

Prosecutor/Public Prosecutor/Prosecuting lawyer/Prosecuting officer (Am.) - обвинитель, прокурор

prosecute -обвинять, преследовать по закону

accuse smb. of smth., doing smth -обвинять кого-л. в чем-л.

accused (the) n - обвиняемый Syn. defendant

accusation -обвинение

murder - убийство

commit a murder - совершать убийство

murder - убивать, совершать убийство

defence (Br.) / defense (Am) - защита

Counsel for the Defence - защитник обвиняемого

appear for the Defence - выступать в качестве защитника (на судебном процессе)

inspector - полицейский инспектор

chief inspector - комиссар (полиции)

judge - судья

client - клиент

court - суд

bring to court - привлекать к суду

the Supreme Court- Верховный Суд

Court of Appeal -Кассационный суд

courtroom- зал заседаний суда

urge smb. to do smth.- убеждать, настаивать на

case- дело (судебное)

criminal case -уголовное дело

civil case -гражданское дело

divorce case -бракоразводное дело

hearing of a case -слушание дела

take (up) a case -взять на себя ведение дела, согласиться вести дело

hear a case - слушать дело

try a case - разбирать, слушать дело

plead a case in court -выступать по делу в суде

charge nобвинение Syn. accusation

capital charge - обвинение в убийстве

on the charge of -по обвинению в

bring a charge of (murder, theft, etc.) against smb -выдвигать обвинение в (убийстве, ограблении и т. д.) против кого-л.

charge smb. with smth. - обвинять кого-л. в чем-л.

regard smb. as (Syn. consider smb). - считать (рассматривать) коro-л. как ...

suspect - подозреваемый человек

suspect - подозревать

suspect smb. of smth., doing smth -подозревать кого-л. в чем-л.

see to it that.-проследить за тем, чтобы....позаботиться о том, чтобы

evidence – 1. cвидетельские показания; 2. вещественное доказательство, улики

circumstantial evidence - косвенные улики

corroborative evidence - веские улики

give evidence for (against) smb- давать показания в пользу (против) кого-л.

be called (on) to give evidence - быть вызванным для дачи показаний

conviction - 1. осуждение, признание виновным; 2. судимость

convict - признать подсудимого виновным, вынести обвинительный приговор, осудить

convict - осужденный, заключенный, каторжник

criminal - преступник

crime - преступление

capital crime - тяжкое преступление

commit a crime - совершать преступление

criminal - уголовный

criminal inspector (Br.) prosecuting officer (Am.) - следователь

the Criminal Code -уголовный кодекс

the Criminal Investigation Department - уголовный розыск

police station - полицейский участок

caution - предупреждать, предостерeгать

make a statement - сделать (официальное) заявление

Let's get it straight. - Поговорим начистоту. (Давайте все выясним и уточним.)

second (a proposal, a recommendation) -поддерживать (предложение, рекомендацию)

jail – тюрьма Syn. prison

in jail (prison) - в тюрьме

take to jail (prison) - заключать в тюрьму Syn. send to Jail (prison)

be up against smth. - стоять перед задачей, столкнуться с трудностями, быть вынужденным бороться

juror - присяжный заседатели

jury - присяжные заседатели, суд присяжных по гражданским и уголовным делам

Grand Jury - присяжные предварительного следствия

jury-box - место присяжных в. суде

puzzle - ставить в затруднительное положение, смущать

swear in - приводить к присяге

testify for (against) smb -давать показания, свидетельствовать в пользу (против) кoro-л.

testimony - yстное показание, письменное свидетельство, доказательство

medical testimony -медицинское заключение

oath - присяга

under oath -под присягой

take the oath - приносить приcягу

violate the oath - нарушать присягу

alibi - алиби

have an alibi -иметь алиби

give (furnish) an alibi - обеспечить алиби

convincing- убедительный, доказательный

innocent - невиновный

be innocent of smth., doing smth – быть невиновным в ч-л


1. Study the text carefully and answer these questions.

1. Why did Mr Mayherne advise his client to turn to Sir Wilfred?

2. Whose case was reported in the press?

3. In what way was Leonard Vole involved in the case?

4. What impression did Leonard Vole produce on Sir Wilfred? Could you say that Sir Wilfred took to him at once?

5. Why were the police anxious to interview Vole?

6. How was Vole treated by the police? Did they caution him?

7. Why did Mr Mayherne think that Vole would be regarded as the principal and logical suspect in the case?

8. What made Sir Wilfred refuse to take the case? Would he have taken it if it had not been for his poor health?

9. Who did Sir Wilfred recommend him to go to?

10. How did Christine take the news of her husband's arrest?

11. Why did Christine's answers puzzle and irritate the barristers?

12. Who could furnish an alibi for Leonard Vole?

13. Why might the jury be sceptical of the evidence furnished by the accused's wife?

14. What was Christine's impression of her visit to the police?

15. What did Christine say that shocked the barristers?

16. Why wasn't Brogan-Moore very enthusiastic about the case?

17. What did Sir Wilfred mean by saying "I'll take it from here"?


2. Mark the statements T (true) or F (false) according to the information in the text.

a). Mr Wilfred urges Sir Vole to take the case of Leonard Mayherne who may be arrested any minute on the charge of murdering Mrs Emily French.

b). Mayherne didn’t know exactly whether Leonard Vole had had any previous convictions.

c). Miss Plimsoll was a trained nurse who saw to it that Sir Wilfred followed the doctors’ instructions.

d). The doctors haven’t forbidden Sir Wilfred to take up civil cases.
e). Only a barrister can actually plead a case in court.

f). Christine worships the ground Leonard walks on.

g). Christine’s husband, Leonard, came from East Germany.

h). Brogan-Moore, a solicitor, recommended to Leonard Vole, was to plead the case in court.

i). On having heard the bad news, Mrs Vole remained self-possessed and very quiet.

j). Brogan-Moore wasn’t absolutely sure in Leonard’s innocence, that’s why he couldn’t promise to do his best.

3. Find equivalents in the text for these word combinations and sentences.

1. Вполне естественно, что у него не было судимостей. 2. Я могу быть замешан в этом деле. 3. Только адвокат может вести дело в суде. 4. Сделать заявление. 5. Ничего не поделаешь. 6. Давайте уточним (поговорим начистоту). 7. Леонард Воул арестован и заключен в тюрьму. 8. Сэр Уилфрид чувствует, что он столкнулся с чем-то, чего он не понимает. 9. скептически отнесутся к словам человека, обвиняемого в убийстве. 10. под присягой; 11. Мы имеем дело с уголовным преступлением. 12. Я обеспечу ему алиби. 13. Вы верите, что Воул невиновен?


4. Give a summary of Scenes 1-2.

5. Make up conversations

a). between Sir Wilfred and Brogan-Moore (they discuss their talk with Mrs Vole);

b). between Mayherne and his assistant (they discuss the case).


6. Complete the chart (where possible):


verb person thing
prosecute prosecutor  


7. Give synonyms for the following words:


a) accused

b) prison

c) to hear a case

d) to regard

e) to charge smb. with smth.

f) accusation of murder

g) to take to jail

h) evidence

8. Choose the antonyms from the box:


guilty to violate the oath Counsel for the Defence corroborative evidence to appear for the Prosecution to refuse victim witness for the Defence


a) to appear for the Defence

b) circumstantial evidence

c) Counsel for the Prosecution

d) innocent

e) murderer

f) witness for the Prosecution

g) to second

h) to take the oath

9. Match the beginnings with the endings:


1) It’s quite obvious that Mr Brown is regarded…. a) previous convictions?
2) Under British Law a wife cannot be called… b) on his word
3) Do you have any… c) on the charge of murdering his wealthy cousin.
4) Unfortunately his entire defence rested… d) as the principal and logical suspect in that criminal case.
5) He must have been arrested … e) to give testimony damaging to her husband.

Scene three

(In one of the courtrooms of the Old Bailey.1 It is the first day of Vole's trial. The court is in session. The judge is presiding. The jury,2 consisting of nine men and three women, are in the jury-box.3 Leonard Vole is sitting in the prisoner's box between two guards. The counsels for the Prosecution are in their seats. As to the counsels for the Defence, the leading counsel, Sir Wilfred, is late.)

Court Clerk: Leonard Stephen Vole, you are charged on indictment that you on the 14th day of October in the County of London murdered Emily Jane French. How say you, Leonard Stephen Vole, are you guilty or not guilty?

Vole: Not guilty.

Court Clerk: Members of the Jury! The prisoner stands indicted for that he on the 14th day of October murdered Emily Jane French. To this indictment he has pleaded "not guilty", and it is your charge to say,4 having heard the evidence, whether he be guilty or not.

Judge: Members of the Jury, by the oath which you have just taken you swore to try this case on the evidence. You must shut out from your minds5 everything, except what will take place in this court. (To the prosecutor): You may proceed for the Prosecution, Mr Myers.

Myers (rising): May it please you, my Lord. (Addressing the jury): I appear in this case with my learned friend, Mr Barton, for the Prosecution and my learned friends Sir Wilfred Robart and Mr Brogan-Moore, appear for the Defence. The facts in this case are simple, and to a point, not in dispute.6 You will hear how the prisoner made the acquaintance of Mrs Emily French, a woman of fifty-six, how he was treated by her with kindness, and even affection. On the night of October the 14th last between 9:30 and 10:00 Mrs French was murdered. Medical testimony will be introduced to prove that death was caused by a blow from a blunt and heavy instrument and it is the case for the Prosecution that the blow was dealt by the prisoner Leonard Vole!

Vole: That's not true!! I didn't do it!!

Myers: Among the witnesses you will hear police evidence, also the evidence of Mrs French's housekeeper Janet MacKenzie, and from the medical and laboratory experts, and the evidence of the murdered woman's solicitor, who drew up her final will. I will now call Chief Inspector Hearne, Criminal Investigation Department of New Scotland Yard.

Usher: Chief Inspector Hearne! Chief Inspector Hearne! Chief Inspector Hearne! (Chief Inspector Hearne enters the witness-box. After he is sworn in he is asked to give testimony.)

Hearne: From the body temperature and other factors we placed the time of death at between 9:30 and 10 p.m. approximately thirty minutes before Janet MacKenzie, the housekeeper, returned home and called us. Death was instantaneous, caused by one blow from a heavy and blunt instrument. (Sir Wilfred enters the courtroom and takes his seat. Chief Inspector Hearne has given his testimony and is examined by Mr Myers.)

Myers: Were there any signs of a struggle?

Hearne: No, just one blow.

Myers: Would that indicate to you that the murderer had taken Mrs French by surprise?

Sir Wilfred (rising): My Lord, I must object. My learned friend refers to the assailant as the murderer, but we have not yet determined whether the assailant was a man or a woman. It could conceivably have been the murderess.

Judge: Mr Myers, it seems that Sir Wilfred has joined us just in time to catch you on a point of grammar. Please rephrase your question.

Myers: Yes, My Lord. Inspector, is it your opinion that the assailant, whether he, she or it ... had taken Mrs French by surprise?

Sir Wilfred (to the judge): My Lord, I am taken by surprise that my learned friend should attempt to solicit from the witness an opinion,7 and not a fact.

Judge: Quite so. You'll have to do better than that, Mr Myers.

Myers: My Lord, I withdraw the question entirely. Is that better?

Sir Wilfred: That's much better.

Myers: Anyway, Inspector, let us proceed with the facts in the case. After establishing the cause and the time of death, what did you then do?

Hearne: A search was made. Photographs were taken and the premises were fingerprinted.

Myers: What fingerprints did you discover?

Hearne: I found the fingerprints of Mrs French, those of Janet MacKenzie, and some which later proved to be those of Leonard Vole.

Myers: No others?

Hearne: No others.

Myers: What made you think that a robbery had been committed?

Hearne: Things were strewn about,8 and a window had been broken near the catch. There was glass on the floor, and some fragments were found outside. The glass outside was not consistent with the window having been forced from the outside.

Myers: What you are saying is that someone attempted to make it look as if the window had been forced from the outside? Isn't that so?

Sir Wilfred: My Lord, I must object. My learned friend is putting words in the witness's mouth.

Judge (to Myers): Quite. Don't you think so, Mr Myers?

Myers: Yes, my Lord. Inspector, was any of the murdered woman's propertу missing?

Hearne: According to the housekeeper nothing was missing.

Myers: In your experience, Inspector, when burglars, or burglaresses break into a house, do they leave without taking anything?

Hearne: No, sir.

Myers: Will you produce a jacket, Inspector? (He refers to a jacket that has been found by the police in Leonard Vole's house and is offered as evidence.)

Hearne: Yes, sir. (The clerk passes the jacket to Chief Inspector Hearne.)

Myers: Is that the jacket?

Hearne: Yes, sir.

Myers (to the judge)-: That is exhibit one, my Lord. Where did you find this, Inspector?

Hearne: That is the jacket found in the prisoner's flat which I handed to our Lab to test for bloodstains.

Myers: And did you find any bloodstains?

Hearne: Yes. Though an attempt had been made to wash them out.

Myers: What tests did the Laboratory make?

Hearne: First to determine if the stains were made by human blood, then to classify it by group or type.

Myers: And was the blood of a particular group or type?

Hearne: Yes, sir. It is Type O.

Myers: And did you subsequently9 test the blood of the dead woman?

Hearne: Yes, sir.

Myers: What type was that?

Hearne: The same. Type O.

Myers: Thank you, Inspector. No further questions.

(Now Sir Wilfred rises and starts a cross-examination.)

Sir Wilfred: Inspector, you say the only fingerprints you found were those of Mrs French, Janet MacKenzie and the prisoner Leonard Vole. In your experience when a burglar breaks in, does he usually leave fingerprints, or does he wear gloves?

Hearne: He wears gloves.

Sir Wilfred: So the absence of fingerprints in the case of robbery would hardly surprise you.

Hearne: No, sir.

Sir Wilfred: Can't we then surmise10 that a burglar might have entered what was presumably an empty house, might have suddenly encountered Mrs French and struck her, then realising she was dead, panicked and fled without taking anything?

Myers: I submit, my Lord11, that it is entirely impossible to guess what went on in the mind of some entirely imaginary burglar with or without gloves.

Judge: Let us not surmise, Sir Wilfred, but confine ourselves to facts.

Sir Wilfred: Inspector, when you questioned the prisoner as to the stains on his jacket, did he not show you a recently healed scar on his wrist and tell you that he had cut himself with a kitchen knife while slicing bread?

Hearne: Yes, sir. That is what he said.

Sir Wilfred: And were you told the same thing by the pris­oner's wife?

Hearne: Yes, sir, but afterwards...

Sir Wilfred (interrupting him): Just a simple "yes", or "no", please. Did the prisoner's wife show you a knife and tell you that her husband had cut his wrist when slicing bread?

Hearne: Yes, sir.

Sir Wilfred (pointing to the knife lying on the table in front of him): I will ask you to examine this knife, Inspector.

(A court clerk passes the knife to the Chief Inspector.)

Sir Wilfred: Now, then, with such a knife as was displayed, might it not inflict a cut that would bleed profusely?

Inspector: Yes, sir, it might.

Sir Wilfred: Now, Inspector, you have stated that the bloodstains on the prisoner's jacket were analysed, as was the blood of Mrs French, and they were both found to be of the same group, Group O.

Hearne: That is correct.

Sir Wilfred: However, if the prisoner's blood were also of the same group, then the stains on his jacket might very well have resulted from the household accident12 he described to you?

Hearne: Yes.

Sir Wilfred: Did you examine the prisoner's blood, Inspector?

Hearne: No, sir.

Sir Wilfred (taking up a paper): I have here a certificate stating that Leonard Stephen Vole is a blood donor13 at the North London Hospital and that his blood is Group O.

(General excitement in the courtroom: the jurors sigh with relief; Leonard Vole leans back and smiles happily, the public exchange impressions.)

(to be continued)


1. theOld Bailey: the Central Criminal Court in London

2. jury:a body of persons, in the USA and Britain, 12 in number, who have to decide the truth of a case tried before a judge

3. the jury-boxis a small enclosure, usually at the side of the court, in which the jurors sit.

4. ...it is your charge to say...:"...it is your task (duty) to say..."

5. shut out from your minds:keep away from your minds

6. The facts in the case are... not in dispute.Дело ясное; вызывают сомнение не сами факты.

7. to solicit an opinion from the witness:to ask the witness an opinion

8. things were strewn about:things were scattered about

9. subsequently:later on, afterwards


10. surmise:to guess with the help of a certain amount of evidence

11. I submit, my Lord...:"I suggest, my Lord..."

12. household accident:an accident that occurred at home

13. blood donor:one who gives blood for medical purposes


Words and word combinations

trial - судебный процесс

stand trial - быть под судом Syn be on trial (for smth)

try smb. for smth. - судить, предавать суду кого-л. за что-л.

be in session - проводить заседание

prisoner - подсудимый

the prisoner's box - скамья подсудимых

indictment - обвинительный акт; обвинение

indict -предъявлять обвинение


be guilty of smth., doing smth. - быть виновным в чем-л.

plead (not) guilty (to smth.) - признавать себя (не)виновным в ч-л

find smb. (not) guilty of smth doing smth -признавать кого-л. (не)виновным в чем-л.

blunt- тупой

housekeeper - экономка

draw up (a will, plan, etc.) - составлять (завещание, план и т. д.)

I withdraw my question. - Я снимаю свой вопрос.

object to smth,doing smth -возражать против чего-л., против того, чтобы сделать что-л.

assailant - подзащитный

search обыск

fingerprint - снять отпечатки пальцев

fingerprints - отпечатки пальцев

robbery - кража, грабеж

commit a robbery - совершать грабеж

be consistent with - совпадать с, соответствовать

burglar(ess) - грабитель(ница), вор-взломщик

break in - вламываться, залезать в квартиру, дом (о грабителях)

offer smth. as evidence - предъявлять что-л. в качестве доказательства

exhibit - вещественное доказательство

cross-examination - перекрестный допрос

cross-examine - подвергать перекрестному допросу

confine oneself to - строго придерживаться, ограничиваться



1. Study the text carefully and answer these questions.

1. What was the indictment?

2. What did the judge mean by saying that the jurors must try the case on the evidence alone?

3. Who appeared for the Prosecution?

4. Who were the Counsels for the Defence?

5. Who were witnesses for the Prosecution?

6. Who was the first to give evidence?

7. Why did Sir Wilfred object to Mr Myers' question as to whether the murderer had taken Mrs French by surprise?

8. Was the objection accepted or overruled?

9. Whose fingerprints did the police discover in Mrs French's drawing-room? Would they be justified in saying those fingerprints provided any clues?

10. Why did the police think there was something suspicious about the state the drawing-room was in?

11. Whose jacket did Chief Inspector Hearne produce in evidence?

12. For what purpose was the jacket handed to the laboratory?

13. What supposition did Sir Wilfred come out with?

14. Why did Sir Wilfred ask the Chief Inspector and the judge to examine the knife he produced in evidence?

15. How did Leonard Vole account for the stains on the jacket cuffs?

16. What type of blood did Vole have?

17. How did the public react to Sir Wilfred's statement? Could you say that the sympathies of the public were with Vole?

2. Prove that

a). there was a flaw (a weak spot) in the evidence of the police;

b). the police evidence wasn’t sufficient to prove that it was Vole who had murdered Mrs French;

c). Sir Wilfred managed to break down the police evidence.



3. Make up conversations

a). between two people who were at the hearing of the case;

b). between Sir Wilfred and Brogan-Moore; they exchange impressions of the first day of the trial.

4. Find equivalents in the text for these word combinations and sentences.

1. Идет заседание суда. 2. Леонард Стефан Воул, вам предъявляется обвинение в том, что... 3. И ваша задача решить, после того как выслушаете свидетельские показа­ния, виновен он или не виновен. 4. присяжный поверенный, который составил ее последнее завещание; 5. застал г-жу Френч врасплох; 6. Это вещественное доказательство. 7. Давайте ограничимся фактами. 8. Леонард Стефан Воул является донором и у него группа крови «О».

5. Form the corresponding nouns from the following verbs and compose word-combinations with each noun.

a) indict – c) fingerprint – e) cross-examine –
b) try – d) rob – f) suspect –

6. Complete the sentences with the following words from the box:


innocent to cross-examine prisoner’s box to stand trial courtroom Counsel for the Defence assailant to plead guilty to break into jury court clerk defendant to be charged on indictment to hear the case guards Counsel for the Prosecution to murder jury-box judge



………………: Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today we are going………….of Sir Belmoore, who…………for murder of Helen Smith. (The…………is overcrowded. The………...is presiding. The…………., consisting of 6 men and 6 women, are in the …………..The …………is sitting in the …………..between two ………… The ……………is frowning in his seat. The ……………is quite aware of the fact, that his rival is going to……………his…………..).

Sir Alfred Belmoore! You………………that on the 14th of December you…………..the house owned by Helen Smith and ……………the woman. Do you……………?

Sir Belmoore: No, I am…………….


7. Complete the following sentences with the words used in the text:

a). Anyone who has killed a person with intention is called ………..

b). …………is a person who stands trial.

c). A defendant is ……………..by the Counsel for the Defence.

d). If a criminal breaks into a house in order to steal things he commits ………….

e). 12 members of the public who find a defendant either guilty or innocent are called …………..

f). When the Counsel for the Defence doesn’t agree a Counsel for the Prosecution’s question to be asked, he ………….to it.

g). In order to find some exhibits, police makes ……………..at a suspect’s place.

h). In a courtroom a defendant sits in ……………….

i). Things which prove defendant’s guilt are……………..

j). When a defendant makes a statement that he/she has committed a crime he……………


8. Group the words from the box into a few logical groups:

jury-box to try (sb. for smth.) judge prisoner’s box to make a search corroborative evidence robbery jury jail to find (sb.) guilty crime medical testimony witness-box Counsel for the Defence to fingerprint exhibits Counsel for the Prosecution burglary witness courtroom fingerprints to charge (sb.) on indictment defendant circumstantial evidence Chief Inspector to cross-examine solicitor murder laboratory experts






9. Write down the questions for the following answers:

a).……………………………...? Not guilty.
b)………………………………? A search was made. Photographs were taken and the premises were fingerprinted.
c)……………………………....? I must object. My learned friend is putting words in the witness’s mouth.
d)………………………………? According to the housekeeper nothing was missing.
e)……………………………....? Yes. Though an attempt was made to wash them out.
f)……………………………….? Yes, Sir. It’s type O.
g)………………………………? Let us not surmise, but confine ourselves to facts.


Scene four

(The third day of the Vole trial. Mr Myers, the Counsel for the Prosecution, is going to call his surprise witness, Christine Helm.)

Judge: Mr Myers, does that conclude your case?

Myers: No, my Lord. I now call the final witness for the prosecution, Christine Helm.

Usher: Christine Helm! Christine Helm! Christine Helm!

(Sir Wilfred and Brogan-Moore look at each other in bewilderment. Christine Vole, pale but calm, enters the courtroom. Looking straight in front of her she goes to the witness-box.)

Christine (reading the oath): I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sir Wilfred (addressing the judge): My Lord, I have the most serious objection to this witness being summoned by the prosecution, as she is the wife of the prisoner Leonard Vole!

Myers: My Lord, I call my learned friend's attention to the fact that I summoned not Mrs Vole, but Mrs Helm. (To Christine): Your name in fact is Christine Helm?

Christine: Yes, Christine Helm.

Myers: And you have been living as the wife of the prisoner Leonard Vole?

Christine: Yes.

Myers: Are you actually his wife?

Christine: No, I went through a marriage ceremony with him in Hamburg, but I already had a husband. He is still alive.

Vole: Christine! That's not true!!

Sir Wilfred: My Lord, there is proof of the marriage between the witness and the prisoner. Is there any proof of the so-called previous marriage?

Myers: My Lord, the so-called previous marriage is in fact well-documented (Holding the marriage certificate, to Christine): Mrs Helm, is this a certificate of marriage between yourself and one Otto Ludwig Helm? The ceremony having taken place in Breslau on the 18th of April, 1942?

Christine: Yes, that is the paper of my marriage. (Myers passes the certificate to a clerk, who takes it to the judge.)

Judge: I don't see any reason why this witness should not be qualified to give evidence.

Myers: Mrs Helm, are you willing to give evidence against the man you've been calling your husband?

Christine: Yes.

Myers: You stated to the police that on the night that Mrs French was murdered Leonard Vole left the house at seven thirty and returned at twenty-five past nine. Did he in fact return at twenty-five past nine?

Christine: No, he returned at ten minutes past ten.

Vole: Christine, what are you saying? It's not true. You know it's not true?!

Usher: Silence!

Judge: I must have silence!

Myers (to Christine): Leonard Vole returned, you say, at ten minutes past ten. And what happened next?

Christine: He was breathing hard, very excited. He threw off his coat and examined the sleeves. Then he told me to wash the cuffs. They had blood on them. I said: "Leonard, what have you done?"

Myers: And what did the prisoner say to that?

Christine: He said: "I've killed her."

Vole: Christine! Why are you lying? Why are you saying these things?!!

Myers: Mrs Helm, when the prisoner said: "I have killed her," did you know to whom he referred?

Christine: It was that woman he had been going to see so often.

Myers: Now then, when questioned by the police you told them that the prisoner returned at nine twenty-five?

Christine: Yes. Because Leonard asked me to say that. .

Myers: But you change your story now. Why?

Christine: I cannot go on lying to save him! I said to the police what he wanted me to say because I'm grateful to him. He married me and brought me to this country. What he has asked me to do I've always done, because I was grateful.

Myers: It was not because he was your husband, and you loved him?

Christine: I never loved him.

Myers: It was gratitude to the prisoner then that prompted you to give him an alibi in your statement to the police?

Christine: That is it, exactly.

Myers: But now you think it was wrong to do so?

Christine: Because it is murder. That woman... she was a harmless old fool. And he makes me an accomplice to the murder! I cannot come into court and swear that he was with me at the time when it was done. I cannot do it! I cannot do it!!!

Myers: Then this is the truth that Leonard Vole returned that night at ten minutes past ten, that he had blood on the sleeves of his coat and that he said to you: "I have killed her"?

Christine: That is the truth.

Myers: Thank you.

(Now it is Sir Wilfred's turn to cross-examine the witness.)

Sir Wilfred: Mrs Vole, or Mrs Helm... which do you prefer to be called?

Christine: It does not matter.

Sir Wilfred: Does it not? In this country we are inclined to take a rather more serious view of marriage. However, Frau Helm, it would appear when you first met the prisoner in Hamburg you lied to him about your marital state?

Christine: I wanted to get out of Germany, so...

Sir Wilfred: You lied, did you not? Yes or no, please.

Christine: Yes.

Sir Wilfred: Thank you. And subsequently in arranging the marriage you lied to the authorities?

Christine: I did not tell the truth to the authorities.

Sir Wilfred: You lied to them?

Christine: Yes.

Sir Wilfred: And in the ceremony of marriage itself, when you swore to love and to honour and to cherish your husband, that, too, was a lie?

Christine: Yes.

Sir Wilfred: And when the police questioned you about this poor man, who believed himself you married and loved him, you told them...

Christine: I told them what Leonard wanted me to say.

Sir Wilfred: And when you said that he had accidentally cut his wrist, again you lied?

Christine: Yes.

Sir Wilfred (with contempt): And now today you’ve told us a new story entirely. The question is, Frau Helm, were you lying then or are you lying now? Or are you not in fact a chronic and habitual liar?!!

Scene five

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