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15 January, 2016 - 09:31

Perjury is the crime of giving a false oath, either orally or in writing, in a judicial or other official proceeding (lies made in proceedings other than courts are sometimes termed “false swearing”). To be perjurious, the oath must have been made corruptly—that is, with knowledge that it was false or without sincere belief that it was true. An innocent mistake is not perjury. A statement, though true, is perjury if the maker of it believes it to be false. Statements such as “I don’t remember” or “to the best of my knowledge” are not sufficient to protect a person who is lying from conviction for perjury. To support a charge of perjury, however, the false statement must be “material,” meaning that the statement is relevant to whatever the court is trying to find out.