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Witness intimidation involves witnesses crucial to court proceedings being threatened in order to pressure or extort them not to testify. The refusal of key witnesses to testify commonly renders a case with inadequate physical evidence void in a court of law. This is a significant problem that has many lawmakers considering tough penalties for intimidating a witness; in the state of Kansas, it is a criminal misdemeanor, or, if found to be aggravated, a felony.

In the United Kingdom, witness intimidation is covered by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994: section 51. Under this act it is an offence to perform an act which is intended to and does intimidate a person who the offender knows or believes to be involved with a criminal case with the intention of disturbing the proceedings.

In situations where intimidation or retaliation against witnesses is likely (such as cases involving organized crime), witnesses may be placed in witness protection to prevent suspects or their colleagues intimidating them.

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