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The right not to testify against oneself in an American courtroom is absolute. What if, however, the testimony offered was compelled not by a U.S.-based prosecutor, but by a foreign government following its own laws? According to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decision in United States v. Allen, the rule remains the same: The Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on the use of compelled testimony in American criminal proceedings applies even when a foreign sovereign has compelled the testimony. The government’s petition to rehear the case by the full Second Circuit panel was recently denied, which means the decision stands—for now.

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