Gabon

Laws

Penal Code 2018 — in force

Coat of Arms

Penal Code 2018

An Act to establish and codify the general principles of liability for criminal offences; to the procedure of the courts in relation to such offences; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, with the Advice and Consent of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, and by the authority of the same, as follows—

Chapter 1 Preliminary

1 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Penal Code 2018.

2 Application of provisions

  1. The text shall apply to all of the territory of Gabon, including any territory external to the mainland of Gabon.
  2. In this section—

    text means the provisions of this Act and any enactment, passed or made after this Act was passed, creating or amending an offence.

3 Creation of offences

No offence shall be created except by, or under the authority of, an Act.

4 Code applies as general law

  1. The Code is the law of Gabon for matters it deals with.
  2. The Code applies to all offences under the Code or another Act, unless the contrary intention appears in an Act.
  3. If another Act makes provision for an offence, the Act must be read with the Code to the extent the other Act makes provision for the offence.

5 Code does not limit prerogative of mercy

The Code does not affect the prerogative of mercy.

6 Effect of prerogative of mercy

A pardon by Her Majesty in the exercise of the prerogative of mercy discharges the convicted person from the effects of the conviction.

Chapter 2 Application of Criminal Law

Part 1 Generally

7 Effect of changes in law

  1. A person can not be punished for doing or omitting to do an act unless the act or omission constituted an offence under the law in force when it occurred nor unless doing or omitting to do the act under the same circumstances would constitute an offence under the law in force at the time when the person is charged with the offence.
  2. If the law in force when the act or omission occurred differs from that in force at the time of the conviction, the offender can not be punished to any greater extent than was authorised by the former law, or to any greater extent than is authorised by the latter law.

8 Double jeopardy

A person can not be twice punished either under law for the same act or omission, except in the case where the act or omission is such that by means thereof the person causes the death of another person, in which case the person may be convicted of the offence of which the person is guilty by reason of causing such death, notwithstanding that the person has already been convicted of some other offence constituted by the act or omission.

Part 2 Responsibility

9 Ignorance of the law

Ignorance of the law does not afford any excuse for any act or omission which would otherwise constitute an offence unless knowledge of the law by the person concerned is expressly declared to be an element of the offence.

10 Bona fide claim of right

A person is not criminally responsible in respect of an offence relating to property, if the act done or omitted to be done by him with respect to the property was done in the exercise of an honest claim of right and without intention to defraud.

11 Presumption of sanity

Every person is presumed to be of sound mind and to have been of sound mind at any material time, and it is not possible to rebut this presumption.

12 Intoxication

A person whose mind is to any extent disordered by intoxication or stupefaction, either caused with or without intention, by drugs or intoxicating liquor or by any other means whether in order to afford excuse for the commission of an offence or not and whether his or her mind is disordered by the intoxication alone or in combination with some other agent is declared immaterial to criminal responsibility.

13 Duress

A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if the act is done or omitted to be done only because during the time in which it is being done or omitted to be done the person is compelled to do or not to do the act by threats on the part of another person.

14 Judicial officers

A judicial officer is not criminally responsible for doing an act when exercising or purportedly exercising judicial functions, unless an Act expressly imposes criminal responsibility on a judicial officer in those circumstances.

Part 3 Proof

15 Application of division

This division applies unless otherwise provided.

16 Burden of proof

  1. The burden of proving every element of an offence and any other fact alleged or relied on by the prosecution is on the prosecution.
  2. Where evidence is given (whether by the defendant or by the prosecution) of a defence or any other fact alleged or relied on by the defendant the burden is on the prosecution to prove that an element of the defence or such other fact did not exist.

17 Evidential burden

Evidence is given of a defence or any other fact alleged or relied on by the defendant when there is such evidence as might lead a court to conclude that there is a reasonable possibility that the elements of the defence or such other fact existed.

18 Standard of proof

  1. Where the burden of proof is on the prosecution the standard of proof required is proof beyond reasonable doubt.
  2. Where the burden of proof is on the defendant the standard of proof required is proof on the balance of probabilities, except where subsection (3) applies.
  3. Where an element of a defence is the fact that another person is guilty and liable to conviction of the offence in the same proceedings, the standard required for proof of that element is proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Part 4 Causation

19 Causation generally

Subject to this division, a person causes a result which is an element of an offence when—

  1. the person does an act which makes a more than negligible contribution to its occurrence; or
  2. the person omits to do an act which might prevent its occurrence and which he is under a duty to do according to the law relating to the offence.

20 Intervening acts

A person does not cause a result where, after he does such an act or makes such an omission, an act or event occurs—

  1. which is the immediate and sufficient cause of the result; and
  2. which the person did not foresee; and
  3. which could not in the circumstances reasonably have been foreseen.

Part 5 Parties to offences

21 Each party taken to commit offence

Each person who is a party to an offence is taken to commit the offence.

22 Who are parties to an offence

  1. A person is a party to an offence that is committed if the person—
    1. actually does the act that is the offence; or
    2. does an act to enable or aid anyone to commit the offence; or
    3. aids anyone in committing the offence; or
    4. counsels or procures anyone to commit the offence.
  2. Under subsection (1)(d), the person may be charged with—
    1. committing the offence; or
    2. counselling or procuring its commission.
  3. If a person procures anyone to do an act that would have been an offence committed by the person had the person done the act, the person is taken to have committed an offence of the same type as if the person had done the act.
  4. Subsection (3) applies even if the person who actually does the act does not commit an offence.
  5. A conviction for counselling or procuring the commission of an offence has the same effect as a conviction for committing the offence.

23 Offences committed in prosecution of common purpose

If—

  1. 2 or more persons form a common intention to prosecute an unlawful purpose in conjunction with one another; and
  2. an offence is committed in the prosecution of the purpose; and
  3. the commission of an offence of that nature was a probable result of the prosecution of the purpose;

each person is taken to be a party to the offence and to commit the offence.

24 Offences taken to be counselled or procured

  1. If—
    1. a person counsels or procures anyone to commit an offence; and
    2. an offence is actually committed by the other person after the counselling or procuring; and
    3. the act that is the offence actually committed is a probable result of the counselling or procuring; the person is taken to have counselled or procured the commission of the offence actually committed.
  2. It is immaterial—
    1. whether the offence actually committed is the same as the offence counselled or procured or a different one; or
    2. whether the offence actually committed is committed in the way counselled or procured or in a different way.

25 Effect of timely withdrawal

A person is not taken to have committed an offence, or to have counselled or procured the commission of an offence, because of this division, if, a reasonable time before the offence is committed, the person—

  1. withdraws from the commission of the offence, the prosecution of the unlawful purpose or the counselling or procuring; and
  2. communicates the withdrawal to the other parties; and
  3. takes all reasonable steps to stop the commission of the offence or the further prosecution of the unlawful purpose.

Part 6 Territorial jurisdiction

26 Application to offences committed completely or partly in Gabon

  1. This Code applies to anyone who does an act in Gabon that is an offence.
  2. If—
    1. acts are done that, if they had all be done in Gabon, would be an offence; and
    2. any of the acts are done in Gabon;

the person who does the acts commits an offence as if all the acts had been done in Gabon.

  1. If—
    1. an event happens in Gabon caused by an act done outside Gabon; and
    2. the act would be an offence if it had been done in Gabon;

the person who does the act commits an offence as if the act had been done in Gabon.

  1. If—
    1. an event happens outside Gabon caused by an act done in Gabon; and
    2. the act would be an offence if the event happened in Gabon;

the person who does the act commits an offence as if the event had happened in Gabon.

27 Offences enabled, aided, counselled or procured by persons externally

  1. If, outside Gabon, a person—
    1. does an act to enable or aid anyone to commit an offence that is actually committed in Gabon; or
    2. aids anyone in committing an offence that is actually committed in Gabon; or
    3. counsels or procures anyone to commit an offence actually committed in Gabon;

the person is taken to commit the offence that is committed in Gabon.

  1. If—
    1. outside Gabon, a person procures anyone to do an act in Gabon; and
    2. the act is of a type that, if the person had done the act in Gabon, the person would have committed an offence;

the person commits an offence as if the person had done the act in Gabon.

28 Offences procured in Gabon to be committed externally

  1. If—
    1. in Gabon, a person procures anyone to do an act at a place outside Gabon; and
    2. the act is of a type that—
      1. if the person had done the act in Gabon, the person would have committed an offence; and
      2. if the person had done the act in the place outside Gabon, the person would have committed an offence against the laws in force in that place;

the person commits an offence as if the person had done the act in Gabon.

  1. However, the punishment must not be more than the punishment to which the person would have been liable, under the laws in force in the place outside Gabon, for doing the act in that place.

29 Explanation of effect of certain declarations

  1. This section applies if a provision declares that a person is taken to commit an offence, or commits an offence, as if particular facts were true.
  2. The person may be charged with, and punished for, the offence, and a court or anyone may exercise the same powers in relation to the person or offence, as if the person had committed the offence under the law applying apart from the declaration.

Example—
Pierre aids Viviane to commit an offence. Under section 21 (Each party taken to commit offence), Pierre is taken to commit the offence. Pierre may be charged with the offence (and is otherwise subject to this subsection) as if Pierre had actually done the act that is the offence.

  1. Also, if a court or anyone may exercise a power on a suspicion or belief about an act that, if committed, would be an offence, the power may be exercised under circumstances in which the act would be taken to be an offence under the declaration.
  2. Subsections (2) and (3) do not limit the effect of the declaration.

Part 7 Punishments

30 Kinds of punishments

Subject to this Act and any other law in force relating to the jurisdiction of particular courts, the following kinds of punishments may be imposed by a court on persons convicted of offences—

  1. imprisonment;
  2. fine;
  3. payment of compensation to injured party;
  4. finding security to keep the peace and be of good behaviour or to come up for judgment;
  5. forfeiture of articles involved in an offence;
  6. any other punishment expressly provided for by law for the time being in force.

31 Life imprisonment

Where a provision provides for the imposition of life imprisonment, the court may impose a definite sentence of any length of time or an indefinite sentence at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

32 Fines

  1. In the absence of express provisions relating to such fine in such law, this section applies where a fine is imposed under any law.
  2. Where no limit is expressed as regards the amount of a fine, the amount of the fine which may be imposed is unlimited but shall not be excessive.
  3. In the case of an offence punishable by a fine or a term of imprisonment or both, the imposition of a fine or of a term of imprisonment or both, shall be in the discretion of the court.
  4. In the case of an offence punishable with imprisonment as well as a fine, and in which the offender is sentenced to a fine (with or without imprisonment) and in every case of an offence punishable with a fine only in which the offender is sentenced to a fine, the court imposing the fine may, in its discretion direct by its sentence that in default of payment of the fine, within such time (if any) as the court may direct, the offender shall suffer imprisonment for a certain term, which imprisonment shall be in addition to and consecutive with any other imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced or may be liable.

33 Compensation

  1. Any person who is convicted of an offence may be adjudged to make compensation to any person injured by the person’s offence.
  2. Any such compensation may be in addition to or in substitution for any other punishment.

34 Costs

Subject to limitations imposed by any other law, a court may order any person convicted of an offence to pay costs of and incidental to the prosecution or any part thereof.

35 Security for keeping the peace

  1. A person convicted of an offence may, instead of, or in addition to, any punishment to which he is liable, be ordered to enter into his own recognizances, with or without sureties, in such amount as the court thinks fit, that he shall keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a time to be fixed by the court, and may be ordered to be imprisoned until such recognizance, with sureties if so directed, is entered into.
  2. However, the imprisonment for not entering into the recognizance shall not extend for a period longer than one year and shall not, together with the fixed term of imprisonment if any, extend for a term longer than the longest term for which he might be sentenced to be imprisoned without fine.

36 Security for coming up for judgment

When a person is convicted of any offence, the court may instead of passing sentence, discharge the offender upon his entering upon his own recognizance, with or without sureties, in such sum as the court thinks fit, conditioned that he shall appear and receive judgment at some future sitting of the court or when called upon.

37 General punishment for offences

When in this Code or any other law no punishment is specially provided for any offence it shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months or with a fine or with both such fine and such imprisonment.

38 Sentence cumulative unless otherwise ordered

Where a person after conviction for an offence is convicted of another offence, either before sentence is passed upon him under the first conviction or before the expiration of that sentence, any sentence that is passed upon him under the subsequent conviction shall be executed after the expiration of the former sentence, unless the court directs that it shall be executed concurrently with the former sentence or of any part thereof.

39 Escaped convicts to serve unexpired sentences when recaptured

If a sentence is passed under this Code upon an escaped convict, such sentence shall run consecutively or concurrently, as the court may order, with the unexpired portion of the sentence which the convict was undergoing when he escaped.

40 Discharge of offender without punishment

  1. Where in any trial the court thinks that the charge is proved, but is of opinion that, having regard to the character of the accused, or to the trivial nature of the offence or to the extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed, it is inexpedient to inflict any punishment, the court may, without proceeding to conviction, make an order dismissing the charge.
  2. An order made under subsection (1) shall, for the purpose of revesting or restoring stolen property and of enabling a court to make any order in that behalf, have the like effect as a conviction.
  3. Where any charge is dismissed under subsection (1) the court may order the accused person to pay the whole or any part of the costs of and incidental to the prosecution.

Part 8 Attempts and preparation to commit offences

41 What is an attempt to commit an offence

  1. A person attempts to commit an offence if the person—
    1. intending to commit the offence, does an act that is more than merely preparatory to the commission of the offence; but
    2. does not fulfil the person’s intention to the extent of committing the offence.
  2. It is immaterial, other than for punishment—
    1. whether the person does all that is necessary on the person’s part to commit the offence; or
    2. whether the fulfilment of the person’s intention is stopped by circumstances independent of the person’s will; or
    3. whether the person voluntarily stops the attempt.
  3. It is immaterial that the offence is impossible to commit because of circumstances unknown to the person.
  4. Subsection (1)(b) does not mean that a person cannot be convicted of an offence of attempting to commit an offence because there is evidence the person actually committed the offence.
  5. The same facts may be one offence and an attempt to commit another offence.

42 Attempt to commit a crime is a crime

  1. A person must not attempt to commit a crime.

    Maximum penalty—

    1. 6 months imprisonment, if the crime attempted has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment; or
    2. half the maximum penalty provided for committing the crime attempted, in any other case.
  2. The penalty provided under subsection (1) is subject to any penalty expressly provided for attempting to commit a particular crime.

43 Seeking to procure commission of criminal acts

  1. This section applies if a person in Gabon seeks to procure anyone to do an act in Gabon or elsewhere of a type that would be an offence if the relevant act were done by either of the persons in the relevant place.
  2. This section also applies if a person outside Gabon seeks to procure anyone to do an act in Gabon of a type that would be an offence if the relevant act were done by either of the persons in Gabon.
  3. The person is taken to commit an offence of the same type as the person would have committed if the person had attempted to do the relevant act in Gabon.
  4. However, if the relevant place is outside Gabon, the punishment must not be more than the punishment to which the person would have been liable under the law in force in the place if the attempt had happened in the place.
  5. In this section—

    relevant act is the act that is to be done under a procurement sought. relevant place is the place where the relevant act is to be done under a procurement sought.

44 Preparation for the commission of certain crimes

A person must not possess anything the person intends anyone to use to facilitate the commission of a crime, in 1 or more of the following ways—

  1. to cause or threaten to cause injury to anyone;
  2. to cause or threaten to cause damage to any property;
  3. to enter premises, without the occupier’s consent.

Maximum penalty—1 week imprisonment.

45 Accessories after the fact

If a person helps anyone who, to the person’s knowledge, has committed an offence, to enable the other person—

  1. to escape punishment; or
  2. to obtain or keep property derived from the offence;

the person is an accessory after the fact to the offence.

Example of paragraph (b)—
Michele, in the commission of the crime of extortion, demands that Yvette deliver items extorted to a particular place. Yvette delivers the items to the place. Afterwards, Michele asks Luc to collect the items and give them to Michele. Luc does what Michele requests knowing it is being done to enable Michele to obtain items derived from an offence. Luc is an accessory after the fact to the crime of extortion.

46 Becoming an accessory after the fact

A person must not become an accessory after the fact to a crime.

Maximum penalty—

  1. if a maximum penalty is specifically prescribed for being an accessory after the fact to the crime—the penalty; or
  2. 2 weeks imprisonment, in any other case.

Part 9 Defences

47 General protection for property damage while defending or protecting person

A person is not criminally responsible for using reasonable force consisting of damage to property to defend or protect anyone from injury that the person reasonably believes to be imminent.

48 Defence of premises against crime

  1. This section applies if a person—
    1. is in peaceable possession of premises; and
    2. reasonably believes that anyone is attempting to enter the premises, or is remaining in the premises, with intent to commit a crime.
  2. The person, and a person lawfully helping the person, may use reasonable force to stop the other person entering the premises, or to remove the other person from the premises.

49 Defence of place against trespassers

  1. If a person is in peaceable possession of a place, or has the right to control or manage a place, the person may use reasonable force—
    1. to stop anyone wrongfully entering the place; or
    2. to remove from the place anyone who wrongfully remains in the place.
  2. However, force used under subsection (1) must not be intended or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.

50 General protection for property damage while defending or protecting property

A person is not criminally responsible for using reasonable force consisting of damage to property to defend or protect any property from damage the person reasonably believes to be imminent.

51 Extension to persons acting under authority

If a person who is in peaceable possession of a place or property may use particular force under this division, anyone acting under the person’s authority may use the same force.

52 Killing on provocation

  1. This section applies if a person unlawfully kills anyone in circumstances that would be murder, if this section did not apply.
  2. The person is guilty only of unlawful killing if the person—
    1. is deprived of the power of self-control by provocation; and
    2. does the act that causes death suddenly, before there is time for the person to regain self-control.

Part 10 Objective concepts

53 Objective meaning of “reasonable” in certain circumstances

  1. This section applies to a provision of an Act under which a person—
    1. may use, or is not criminally responsible for using, reasonable force; or
    2. may do an act, or is not criminally responsible for doing an act, if the act is reasonable; or
    3. may do an act, or is not criminally responsible for doing an act, if the person has a specific reasonable suspicion or belief.
  2. The force is reasonable if, in all the circumstances—
    1. it is reasonable to use some force; and
    2. the amount of force used is reasonable.
  3. The act is reasonable if it is reasonable in all the circumstances.
  4. The suspicion or belief is reasonable if it is reasonable in all the circumstances.

54 Meaning of “provocation”

  1. Provocation is an act of a nature likely to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control (the provoking act) and to induce the ordinary person to do an act (the provoked act) to whoever it was who did the provoking act, if the provoking act were done—
    1. to the ordinary person; or
    2. in the ordinary person’s presence to anyone else.
  2. If a person (the first person) does the provoking act to a second person, or in the second person’s presence to anyone else, the first person gives the second person provocation for the provoked act.
  3. An act a person does because of incitement given by anyone to induce the person to do the act, and therefore to give an excuse for a provoked act, is not provocation to the other person for an act.
  4. An unlawful arrest is not necessarily provocation, but may be provocation if the arrested person knows or reasonably believes the arrest is unlawful.
  5. A lawful act is not provocation for an act.
  6. The provoking act can be an insult or spoken words, even if the insult or words are lawful.

55 Characteristics of the ordinary person

  1. This section applies for any provision under which the criminal responsibility of a person for doing an act in particular circumstances is decided by comparison with the conduct of an ordinary person in those circumstances.
  2. The characteristics of the person that are included in the characteristics of the ordinary person are not limited to the person’s age.
  3. The characteristics of the person included in the characteristics of the ordinary person include, for example, a person’s race, ethnic background and gender.

Chapter 2 Offences against the Crown

Part 1 Treason and sedition

56 High treason

A person must not—

  1. cause the death of the Sovereign, the heir apparent of the Sovereign, or the Lord High Chancellor; or
  2. cause harm to the Sovereign or the Lord High Chancellor resulting in the death of the Sovereign or the Lord High Chancellor; or
  3. cause harm to the Sovereign or the Lord High Chancellor, or imprison or restrain the Sovereign or the Lord High Chancellor; or
  4. levy war, or do any act preparatory to levying war, against Gabon; or
  5. instigate a person who is not a Gabonese citizen to make an armed invasion of Gabon.

Maximum penalty—6 months imprisonment.

57 Treason

A person must not by force or constraint compel the Sovereign to change Her measures or counsels, or put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe Her Majesty’s Privy Counsel.

Maximum penalty—3 months imprisonment.

58 Misprision of treason

A person must not—

  1. receive or assist another person who, to the first person’s knowledge, has committed treason with the intent of allowing the second person to escape punishment or apprenehsion; or
  2. knowing that another person intends to commit treason, fail to inform the Sovereign, a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council or a Justice thereof with all reasonable dispatch or use other reasonable endeavours to prevent the commission of the offence.

Maximum penalty—3 months imprisonment.

59 Meaning of “seditious intention”

  1. An intention is a “seditious intention” if it is not justified by subsection (2) and is an intention—
    1. to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of the Sovereign, Her heirs or successors; or
    2. to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Gabon; or
    3. to excite disaffection against—
      1. the Sovereign; or
      2. the Government of any part of Gabon as established under law; or
      3. the Constitution of Gabon; or
      4. to excite Gabon residents to attempt to change, in an unlawful way, anything established under Gabon law; or
      5. to raise disaffection among Gabon residents; or
      6. to promote a feeling of enmity between different groups of Gabon residents.
  2. It is lawful for a person acting in good faith to—
    1. try to show the Sovereign has been mistaken or misled in the Sovereign’s advices; or
    2. point out, so that they can be remedied, mistakes or defects in—
      1. the government of Gabon; or
      2. the Constitution of Gabon; or
      3. Acts; or
      4. the administration of justice; or
    3. excite Gabon residents to attempt in a lawful way to change anything established under Gabon law; or
    4. point out things that produce, or tend to produce, a feeling of enmity between different groups of Gabon residents so that the things can be remedied.

60 Sedition

  1. A person must not—
    1. undertake an enterprise to carry out a seditious intention; or
    2. intentionally publish seditious words or seditious writing.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

  1. A person cannot be prosecuted for the crime without the Lord High Chanchellor’s consent.
  2. In this section—

    seditious words means words stating a seditious intention. seditious writing means writing, including anything intended to be read, stating a seditious intention.

61 Disclosing official secrets

  1. A person who is or has been a public officer must not unlawfully publish or communicate—
    1. information coming, or that came, to the person’s knowledge because of the office and that the person has a duty to keep secret; or
    2. a document coming, or that came, into the person’s possession because of the office and that the person has a duty to keep secret.
  2. It is declared that all public officers have a duty to keep secret any information that could bring the reputation of Gabon into harm or that could harm the national security of Gabon.

Maximum penalty—6 months imprisonment.

Part 2 Subversive activities

62 Foreign enlistment

A Gabonese subject who, not being licensed in writing by the Sovereign, acting in Her discretion, in that behalf must not accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement in the armed service of any foreign state at war with any friendly state or whether a Gabonese subject or not, induces any other person to accept or agree to accept any commission or engagement in the armed service of any foreign state as aforesaid.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

63 Defamation of foreign personages, etc

Any person must not, without such justification or excuse as would be sufficient on the defamation of a private person, publish in any manner whatsoever anything tending to degrade, revile or expose to hatred or contempt any foreign prince, potentate, ambassador or other foreign dignitary with intent to disturb peace and friendship between Gabon and the country to which such prince, potentate, ambassador or dignitary belongs.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

Part 3 Interference with political freedoms

64 Interfering with political liberty

A person must not unlawfully use violence, threats or intimidation to hinder or interfere with the free exercise or performance of anyone’s political right or duty.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

65 Unlawfully interfering with an election

  1. A person must not unlawfully do an act with intent to—
    1. interfere with the lawful conduct of an election; or
    2. improperly influence the result of an election.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

  1. In this section—

    election includes—

    1. an election for the Legislative Assembly or a local government; and
    2. an election held under an Act to fill a public office.

Chapter 3 Offences against the person

Part 1 Where death has occurred or is threatened

66 Meaning of “kill”

A person who in any way causes anyone’s death is taken to kill the other person.

67 What is “murder”

A person murders anyone if the person unlawfully kills the other person and the person—

  1. intends to kill anyone; or
  2. intends to do grievous bodily harm to anyone; or
  3. causes the death by an act—
    1. done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose; and
    2. of a nature likely to endanger human life.

68 Murder

A person must not murder anyone.

Maximum penalty—life imprisonment.

69 Manslaughter

A person must not unlawfully kill anyone.

Maximum penalty—2 weeks imprisonment.

70 Documented threats to murder

A person must not unlawfully cause anyone else to receive a document that the person knows contains a threat to kill anyone.

Maximum penalty—2 days imprisonment.

Part 2 Where severe injury has been caused or is likely

71 What is “grievous bodily harm”

A person does grievous bodily harm if the person inflicts to another person bodily injury of a nature endangering, or likely to endanger, life.

72 Grievous bodily harm

A person must not unlawfully do grievous bodily harm to anyone else.

Maximum penalty—3 days imprisonment.

73 Placing or throwing explosive or noxious substance with intent

A person must not unlawfully, and with intent to do bodily harm to anyone else or any property, put an explosive or noxious substance in a place or throw a noxious substance at anyone else.

Maximum penalty—1 week imprisonment.

Part 3 Where liberty is restricted

74 What is “kidnapping”

A person kidnaps anyone (the hostage) if the person unlawfully deprives the hostage of liberty with intent to compel the hostage to do anything for the person or anyone else without the hostage’s consent.

75 Kidnapping

A person must not kidnap anyone.

Maximum penalty—1 month imprisonment.

76 What is “deprivation of liberty”

A person deprives anyone of liberty if the person—

  1. confines or detains the other person without the other person’s consent; or
  2. deprives the other person of personal liberty in another way.

77 Deprivation of liberty

A person must not unlawfully deprive anyone of liberty.

Maximum penalty—2 weeks imprisonment.

78 Threats

  1. A person must not, with guilty intent, threaten to—
    1. kill or injure anyone; or
    2. damage anyone’s property; or
    3. cause other detriment to anyone that is unreasonable in all the circumstances.
  2. In this section—

    guilty intent means intent to—

    1. stop or hinder anyone from doing an act the person may lawfully do; or
    2. compel anyone to do an act the person may lawfully abstain from doing.

Chapter 4 Offences against property

Part 1 Concepts of property

79 Meaning of “property”

  1. In this part—

    property includes—

    1. items; and
    2. buildings; and
    3. an animal mentioned in subsection (2); and
    4. any other property real or personal, legal or equitable, including things in action and other intangible property.
  2. For this part, an animal is property if it is—
    1. a tame animal; or
    2. an untamed animal of a type that, if kept, is usually kept confined; or
    3. an untamed animal in a person’s possession or being pursued for return to possession after escape.

80 When particular property is anyone else’s property

  1. This section applies for deciding under this part whether a person has done an act that is an offence in relation to anyone else’s property.
  2. The property is the other person’s property if the other person—
    1. is the owner of the property; or
    2. is a part owner of the property; or
    3. possesses the property.
  3. The property is the other person’s property even if the person doing the act—
    1. owns the property, subject to the other person’s special interest in the property; or
    2. is a part owner of the property; or
    3. possesses the property; or
    4. has a special interest in the property; or
    5. is a member, director or officer of a corporation, partnership or association that owns the property.

81 Meaning of “benefit”

Benefit includes—

  1. property, advantage and service; and
  2. the causing of a detriment; and
  3. anything that is for a person’s good; and
  4. direct or indirect benefit, relief or abstention from direct or indirect benefit, and promise of direct or indirect benefit.

82 Meaning of “to gain a benefit”

A person does an act to gain a benefit for anyone if the person does the act for the purpose of anyone gaining the benefit for anyone.

83 Meaning of “detriment”

Detriment includes—

  1. personal injury, injury to reputation, property damage and financial loss; and
  2. forcing anyone to do an act against the person’s will; and
  3. loss, damage or injury of any kind; and
  4. direct or indirect detriment and threat of direct or indirect detriment.

84 Meaning of “to cause a detriment”

A person does an act to cause a detriment to anyone if the person does the act for the purpose of anyone causing the detriment to anyone else.

Part 2 Taking property

85 What is “stealing”

  1. A person steals anyone’s property if the person—
    1. fraudulently takes the property or converts the property to the use of the person or anyone else; and
    2. for the stealing, actually moves the property or otherwise actually deals with the property by some physical act.
  2. A person takes or converts property fraudulently if the person acts with intent to—
    1. permanently deprive the other person of it; or
    2. use it as a pledge or security; or
    3. part with it on a condition about its return that the person may be unable to perform; or
    4. deal with it in a way that it cannot be returned in the same condition; or
    5. if the property is useable—use it at the person’s will, even if the person intends to repay the other person afterwards.

86 Stealing

A person must not steal anyone’s property.

Maximum penalty—1 week imprisonment.

87 Bringing stolen property into Gabon

  1. A person must not bring stolen property into Gabon.

    Maximum penalty—the maximum penalty that would apply if the property were stolen in Gabon.

  2. In this section—

    stolen property means property obtained outside Gabon by an act that—

    1. if it had been done in Gabon would have been stealing; and
    2. is an offence under the law in force in the place where it was done.

88 Robbery

A person must not—

  1. steal anyone’s property; and
  2. immediately before, when or immediately after stealing the property, use or threaten to use actual violence to a person or any property to obtain the stolen property or to stop or overcome resistance to its being stolen.

Maximum penalty—

life imprisonment, if the person—

  1. is in company with anyone; or
  2. immediately before, when or immediately after committing the offence, does bodily harm to a person; or

2 weeks imprisonment, in any other case.

89 Burglary

A person who is not the occupier of particular premises must not—

  1. enter, or be in, the premises without the occupier’s consent with intent to commit a crime in the premises; or
  2. enter, or be in, the premises without the occupier’s consent and commit a crime in the premises.

Maximum penalty—

life imprisonment, if the person—

immediately before, when or immediately after committing the offence, does grievous bodily harm to anyone else; or

2 weeks imprisonment in any other case

Part 3 Fraud and dishonesty

90 Extortion

  1. A person must not, without reasonable or probable cause, make an unlawful demand with intent—
    1. to gain a benefit for anyone; or
    2. to cause a detriment to anyone.

Maximum penalty—3 weeks imprisonment.

  1. It is immaterial that the threat does not specify—
    1. the detriment to be caused; or
    2. the person to whom, or the property to which, the detriment is to be caused.
  2. In this section—

make an unlawful demand includes cause anyone to receive an unlawful demand.

threat includes a representation that, in all the circumstances, may reasonably be interpreted as a threat, but does not include a person’s threat to cause detriment to the person’s own self or to property owned solely by the person.

unlawful demand made by a person, means a demand made in any way with a threat to cause detriment to anyone or any property whether by the person or anyone else.

91 Fraud

A person must not dishonestly by any deception—

  1. obtain property from anyone; or
  2. induce anyone to give property to anyone else; or
  3. induce anyone to do an act the other person may lawfully abstain from doing; or
  4. induce anyone to abstain from doing an act the other person may lawfully do; or
  5. gain a benefit for anyone; or
  6. cause a detriment to anyone.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

Part 4 Damage to property

92 What acts are “unlawful” damage to property

  1. An act that damages a person’s property is unlawful if it—
    1. is done without the person’s consent; and
    2. is not authorised, justified or excused by law.
  2. It is immaterial that the person doing the act possesses, or has an interest in, the property.
  3. An act that damages property and that would otherwise be lawful is unlawful if it is done with intent to commit fraud, even if it is done by a person to the person’s own property.

93 What is “damage” to property

Damage property includes—

  1. destroy the property; and
  2. erecting structures; and
  3. for an animal—kill or injure the animal; and
  4. for a document—deal with the document so that—
  1. information contained in the document is altered, obliterated or made illegible, irrecoverable or inaccessible; or
  2. it cannot convey a meaning in a visible or recoverable form as effectively as before the damage.

94 Unlawful damage

A person must not wilfully and unlawfully damage property.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

Chapter 5 Offences against the peace

95 Being armed in a way likely to cause fear

A person must not, without lawful excuse, be armed in public in a way likely to cause fear to anyone.

Maximum penalty—1 week imprisonment.

96 Common nuisance

A person must not unlawfully do an act or make an omission in relation to property under the person’s control that—

  1. causes danger to the public’s lives, health or safety; or
  2. causes danger to the public’s property or comfort, and physical injury to anyone; or
  3. obstructs the public in the exercise or enjoyment of a right common to all its members, and causes physical injury to anyone.

Maximum penalty—1 week imprisonment.

97 Publication of false news likely to cause fear and alarm to the public

  1. Any person must not publish any false statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear or alarm or to disturb the public peace.

Maximum penalty—4 days imprisonment.

  1. It shall be a defence to a charge under subsection (1) if the accused proves that, prior to the publication, they took such measures to verify the accuracy of such statement, rumour or report as to lead them reasonably to believe that it was true.

98 Drunkenness

A person must not be found drunk in any public place.

Maximum penalty—1 day imprisonment.

Chapter 6 Offences against the administration of public justice

98 Acts intended to stop arrest or detention

A person must not, with guilty intent—

  1. unlawfully do grievous bodily harm to anyone; or
  2. unlawfully cause an explosion; or
  3. send or give an explosive substance or other dangerous or noxious thing to anyone; or
  4. cause an explosive substance or other dangerous or noxious thing to be taken or received by anyone; or
  5. put a corrosive fluid or a destructive or explosive substance in a place; or
  6. unlawfully throw at anyone, or otherwise apply to anyone, a noxious fluid or a destructive or explosive substance.

Maximum penalty—life imprisonment.

  1. In this section—

guilty intent means intent to resist or stop the lawful arrest or detention of anyone.

99 Aiding person to escape from lawful custody

A person must not—

  1. aid anyone in lawful custody to escape, or to attempt to escape, from lawful custody; or
  2. give anything to anyone in lawful custody, or deliver anything to a place where anyone is or will be in lawful custody, with intent to aid anyone to escape from lawful custody.

Maximum penalty—6 months imprisonment.

100 Freeing person from lawful custody without authority

A person must not free anyone from lawful custody without authority.

Maximum penalty—3 months imprisonment.

101 Escaping from lawful custody

A person must not escape from lawful custody.

Maximum penalty—3 months imprisonment.

102 Seeking a bribe in relation to false testimony

A person must not seek or accept a benefit for anyone under an arrangement that a person called, or to be called, as a witness in a judicial proceeding will give false testimony or withhold true testimony.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

103 Giving a bribe in relation to false testimony

A person must not give or seek to give a benefit to anyone under an arrangement that a person called, or to be called, as a witness in a judicial proceeding will give false testimony or withhold true testimony.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

104 Inducing a witness to give false testimony

A person must not seek to induce a person called, or to be called, as a witness in a judicial proceeding to give false testimony or withhold true testimony.

Maximum penalty—4 weeks imprisonment.

105 Perjury

  1. A person must not, in a judicial proceeding or for starting a judicial proceeding, knowingly give false testimony about anything that is material to an issue pending in the proceeding, or intended to be raised in the proceeding.

Maximum penalty—6 months imprisonment.

  1. It is immaterial—
    1. whether the testimony is given on oath or under another sanction authorised by law; or
    2. what forms and ceremonies are used to bind the person giving the testimony to speak the truth, if the person assents to the forms and ceremonies used; or
    3. whether the testimony is given orally or in writing; or
    4. whether or not the tribunal concerned is appropriately constituted or conducts its proceedings in the appropriate place, if it acts as a tribunal in the judicial proceeding; or
    5. whether or not the person who gives the testimony is a competent witness; or
    6. whether or not the testimony is admissible in the judicial proceeding.

106 Subornation of perjury

A person must not, in a judicial proceeding, aid, abet, counsel, procure or suborn another person to commit an offence under the preceding section.

Maximum penalty—2 months imprisonment.

107 Deceiving witness with intent

A person must not deceive or attempt to deceive anyone called, or to be called, as a witness in a judicial proceeding with intent to affect the other person’s testimony as a witness.

Maximum penalty—2 months imprisonment.

108 Damaging evidence with intent

A person who knows anything is, or may be, needed in evidence in a judicial proceeding must not damage it with intent to stop it being used in evidence.

Maximum penalty—2 months imprisonment.


Endnotes:

This Act was originally tabled to Her Majesty’s Privy Council on 22 June 2018.

This Act was enacted by Her Majesty with the advice of Her Privy Council, and entered into force, on 22 June 2018.