I am lawyer Polit Marianna, have been working as a lawyer since 2005
Any citizen can be a witness in a criminal case.
According to the Law, a witness cannot rely on hearsay or base his testimony on conjecture about a specific event or a specific person.
During questioning, the witness must clearly indicate the source of knowledge on the question being asked.
In accordance with Art. 48 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and subparagraph 6 of part 4 of article 56 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation. A witness has the right to appear for questioning with a lawyer in accordance with part five of article 189 of this Code.
Therefore, coming for questioning as a witness to an investigator or to court with a lawyer is normal and safe for you.
During investigations and trials in criminal cases, you can often encounter the fact that the accused party opposes investigative measures. The main measures taken by criminals are usually:
- real attempts to harm the health of a person and his loved ones;
- real attempts to cause material harm to a person;
- attempt to bribe a witness or victim;
- insult, slander, causing moral and property harm to a person.
And often people who are initially ready to testify against the accused in court, after a few days, weeks, months (while the investigation lasts) refuse their testimony. In this case, it can be quite difficult to prove a person’s guilt, and sometimes the case falls apart completely, as the victim withdraws his statement.
In order to combat this phenomenon, the legislation provides for several regulations that should provide protection to people who have information against the criminal. The main ones include:
- Code of Criminal Procedure , which stipulates the protection of not only witnesses, but also victims, as well as other participants in the process who may be influenced during the investigation and legal proceedings;
- Federal Law No. 119 , which directly regulates the protection of personal data and describes in detail all possible forms of this protection.
Also, the Plenum of the Supreme Court clarified for all other courts that they are obliged to inform all participants in the process about the possibility of each of them to apply for such protection. To do this, it is enough to submit a petition indicating the reasons for this need. The court will consider the received application and decide whether to satisfy or reject it, based on the circumstances of the case and the presence of a real threat to the person.