target witness

Primary tabs

A target witness refers to a witness whom the grand jury seeks to indict, or who has specific information sought by the grand jury. 

As explained by the U.S. Department of Justice in JM 9-11.151, “a ‘target’ is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant. An officer or employee of an organization which is a target is not automatically considered a target even if such officer's or employee's conduct contributed to the commission of the crime by the target organization. The same lack of automatic target status holds true for organizations which employ, or employed, an officer or employee who is a target.”

[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]