Article 131 Perjury

Perjury. in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, subscribes any false statement material to the issue or matter of inquiry; is guilty of perjury and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

The false testimony must be with respect to a material matter, but that matter need not be the main issue in the case. Thus, perjury may be committed by giving false testimony with respect to the credibility of a material witness or in an affidavit in support of a request for a continuance, as well as by giving false testimony with respect to a fact from which a legitimate inference may be drawn as to the existence or nonexistence of a fact in issue.

The act of giving false testimony can only be committed during a judicial proceeding.

Every punitive article of the UCMJ requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. Article 131 defines two separate offenses, each with its own set of elements.

Article 131 concerns perjury. The perjury charge alleges that the service member has given false testimony, willfully and with intention to corrupt, concerning the matter being probed, during a judicial proceeding or course of justice. If the defendant is held guilty of perjury, he will be handed fit punishment by a court martial.

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