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"Taking the Fifth"

01 Feb 2002

In a case of first impression, the Illinois Supreme Court has held that a defendant in a civil case cannot assert a privilege against self-incrimination based on fear of prosecution in a foreign county. The court found there was "no indication that the drafters [of the state Contribution] intended the Illinois privilege to differ from the federal counterpart as regarding fear of foreign prosecution." Relsolelo v. Fisk, 198 Ill.2d 142, 760 N.E.2d 963, 260 Ill.Dec. 190 (Nov. 21, 2001). We thus follow the rationale of the U.S. Supreme Court, which held earlier that the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not provide a privilege against self-incrimination out of fear of foreign prosecution. U.S. v. Balsys, 524 U.S. 666, 141 L.Ed.2d 575, 118 S.Ct. 2218 (1998).

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