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accessory before (or after) the fact

Definition of accessory before or after the fact in English:

Law , dated A person who incites or assists someone to commit an arrestable offence (or knowingly aids someone who has committed such an offence).
Example sentences
  • Well, he is liable, as was pointed out, to a number of other offences: accessory after the fact, destroying a motor car, theft of a motor car and various others - you could throw the book at him for the other offences.
  • He said: ‘A wife could not be convicted of being an accessory after the fact for a felony committed by her husband.’
  • One was, firstly, whether the offender or the accused was indeed a primary offender; secondly, whether he was guilty of being an accessory after the fact.
See parent entry: accessory

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