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nolle prosequi

[Latin: to be unwilling to prosecute]
A procedure by which the *Attorney General may terminate criminal proceedings. The entry of a nolle prosequi automatically terminates criminal proceedings on *indictment, but the leave of the court is required in the case of a *summary trial. The procedure is most commonly employed when the accused cannot be produced in court to plead or stand his trial owing to physical or mental incapacity that is expected to be permanent. It is also sometimes used when the Attorney General considers that a prosecution is not in the public interest. His decision is not subject to any control by the courts. Unlike an acquittal, a nolle prosequi does not bar a further prosecution.

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