Right to witness protection

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Right to witness protection

Right to witness protection Is there a defense witness?


    Only witnesses in criminal cases have the right to defense; if a person is a witness in a civil case, e.g. neighbors arguing over the boundary of real estate - none. Everyone as a witness is required to appear at the place and date specified in the summons. He needs to answer the questions he is asked and say everything he knows. But if he fears for his life or thinks that he will endanger his family by testimony, he has the right to seek protection from the court or the prosecutor. The witness's relatives - parents, children, brothers, sisters, spouse, spouse or persons with whom he or she is in a particularly close relationship - also have the right to defense, who are also at risk of suffering if they testify.

When and by whom can the witness receive protection?

    In order to take measures for the immediate protection of the witness or for the protection of his witnesses, there must be sufficient reason to suppose that, as a result of his testimony, a real danger to him or his family may arise, and that requires immediate protection. The degree of danger is assessed as appropriate. It can be, for example, threatening, violent, extortion. The witness may seek protection from the following public authorities:  the court / judge - rapporteur;  the prosecutor; The protective authorities shall assess whether there is a danger and they may take measures to protect the witness or his relatives. The crime committed, whether the accused is in danger of endangering him, as well as the importance of the information that the witness can give and any other information relevant to the assessment of the danger shall be taken into account. If the court, the prosecutor or the judge-rapporteur themselves consider that there is a need for protection and the witness did not ask for one before imposing the measures, they should explicitly ask him / her if he / she wants protection. Measures may not be imposed unless he has given his consent. He can receive protection at any time, regardless of how the case is developed.

How can this protection be implemented? Should the witness pay for it?

    The protection is temporary, as long as the danger to the health or life of the witness persists. The witness does not need to pay for it as it is free of charge. Safeguards that can be implemented are: Да keep the identity of the witness a secret; in interrogations in the case he gives evidence as a witness with a secret identity - his voice is altered;  protection of the life, health or property of the witness by the police, e.g. personal physical security, protection of his property, temporary accommodation in a safe place, incl. and change of residence. If these measures cannot provide sufficient effective protection for the witness, special protective measures shall apply. These are set out in the Witness Protection Program, which is conducted by the Attorney General's Bureau of Defense. The Attorney General assesses whether the information the witness can provide is essential to criminal proceedings and the extent of the threat. When it finds that all the conditions for protection are available, it immediately issues an order which it sends to the Bureau of Protection. If the Attorney General refuses to grant defense, the Defense Council may grant or refuse such protection only when the motion for defense is made by the Judge-Rapporteur. In order to be included in the Defense Program, the witness must sign, within three days from the date of the order of the Attorney General or from the date of the decision of the Defense Council, a written agreement with the Bureau of Defense. From now on, a person will be protected and included in the Program.

Right to witness protection
Right to witness protection
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