Rape complainers who refuse to give evidence could be jailed in “exceptional circumstances”, according to guidelines from the Crown Office.
The potential punishment came to light following a question from SNP MSP Christine McKelvie, who sought assurances that complainers would not face prison if they ignored witness warrants.
Solicitor General Alison Di Rollo QC could not guarantee they would never be sent to prison for failing to give evidence against defendants.
Ms Di Rollo said: “We can never exclude the possibility that there could be circumstances where a witness warrant might be sought if a complainer refused to attend at court when lawfully cited.
“Whilst we accept that, we expect this would and could only arise in the most exceptional circumstances.”
You can read more detail on Rape Crisis Scotland’s concerns here.
Image credit: Beth Cortez-Neaval, Flickr