(Applicable to criminal cases so far as depositions may be taken by statute. See G.L. c. 277, §§ 76-77)
Upon application by a defendant, the court will grant commissions to take the depositions of witnesses residing out of the Commonwealth. Such a defendant may, on application to the clerk, obtain a commission, directed to any commissioner appointed by the governor of the Commonwealth to take depositions in any other of the United States, or to any justice of the peace, notary public or other officer legally empowered to take depositions or affidavits in the state or country where the deposition is to be taken, or to such other person as the court may order. Unless otherwise ordered, such depositions shall be taken upon interrogatories filed by such defendant, and upon cross-interrogatories, if any, filed by the Commonwealth, which interrogatories and cross-interrogatories shall be annexed to the commission. Such defendant shall file his interrogatories in the clerk's office, give notice thereof to the Commonwealth, with a copy of the interrogatories, and file an affidavit of such notice in the clerk's office. The cross-interrogatories, if any, shall be filed within seven days after the giving of such notice, or within such further time as the court may order, and a copy shall be given to such defendant. When a deposition is taken and certified by any person as an officer or person to whom the commission was directed, if it shall be objected that such person was not the one to whom the commission was directed, the burden of proof shall be on the party so objecting. But if an objection be made to the authority of a person taking the deposition without such commission, the burden of proof of such authority shall be on the party producing the deposition.