Questioning of persons

Republic of Albania

Albania - Criminal Procedure Code 1995 (2017) EN

Article 153 Object and limits of testimony
1. The witness shall be questioned on the facts constituting the object of evidence. He shall not testify on the morality of the defendant, unless such testimony concerns facts that may be suitable for qualifying his/her character relating to the criminal offence and his/her social dangerousness.
2. The witness questioning may also be extended to relations of kinship and any interests that exist between the witness and the parties or other witnesses and to circumstances that need to be ascertained to assess his/her reliability. The testimony on the facts that may be useful in defining the victim’s character shall be admitted only if the charge against the defendant must be evaluated relating to the victim’s behaviour.
3. The witness shall be questioned on specific facts. He shall not testify on public rumours nor give his/her personal opinions, unless they are an inseparable part of the testimony on facts.

Article 154 Indirect (hearsay) testimony
1. If a witness refers to facts he has been told of by other persons, the court, upon request of a party or exofficio, shall order to summon these persons to testify.
2. Failure to comply with the provisions of paragraph 1, results in the non-usability of the statements related to the facts of which the witness has been informed by other persons, unless the questioning of these persons is impossible because they are dead, seriously ill or untraceable.
3. A witness shall not be questioned on facts heard from the persons who are obliged to keep their professional or state secret, unless the aforementioned persons have made statements on the same facts or have disclosed them in some other way.
4. The testimony of persons who refuse or are not able to indicate the person or source that informed them of the facts under questioning shall not be used.

Article 156 Incompatibility with the witness’s role
1. The following persons shall not be questioned as witnesses:
a) persons who, due to physical or mental disabilities, are not able to render regular testimony;
b) persons co-accused of the same offence or accused in joint proceedings, if a decision of non- initiation of the proceedings, dismissal or conviction has been issued against them, including the cases of plea bargaining and criminal order of conviction, except for the cases when the decision of acquittal has become final;
c) the persons who in the same proceedings perform or have performed the function of judge or prosecutor;
ç) the civil defendant and the person with civil liability for the damages caused by the defendant.
2. The rule provided for under letter “b”, of paragraph 1, does not apply for the collaborator of justice, who is always questioned as a witness, pursuant to Article 36/a of this Code.

Article 166 Request for questioning
1. The Defendant and the civilly liable person shall be questioned if they make request or give their consent when asked to testify. The same applies to the civil party, unless he must be questioned as a witness.

Article 167 Questioning of a person accused in a joined proceeding
1. Persons accused in a joined proceeding, who are being or were prosecuted separately, shall be questioned upon request of a party or exofficio.
2. They shall be obliged to appear before the court, which, if necessary, shall order their forced accompaniment. Provisions regulating summoning of witnesses shall apply.
3. Persons described in paragraph 1 shall be assisted by a retained lawyer and, in his/her absence, by an exofficio appointed lawyer.
4. Before questioning, the court shall inform the persons described in paragraph 1 that they are entitled to refuse answering.
4/1. If a person accused in a joined proceeding needs to be questioned and any of the conditions referred to in letter “b”, of paragraph 1, of Article 156 of this Code exists, the court shall guarantee him defense against self-incriminating statements on the facts he has been prosecuted for. If he renders self-incriminating statements for any new facts, the court shall inform him about the rights provided for in Article 37 of this Code.
5. Provisions of the above paragraphs shall also apply during preliminary investigations regarding persons who are accused for a joined criminal offence.

Article 167/a Distance questioning of a defendant in a joined proceeding or serving a sentence abroad
The defendant in a joined proceeding, who is being prosecuted or is serving a sentence abroad for a different criminal offence, whose extradition has been denied, may be questioned in distance, by means of audio-visual link, pursuant to international agreements, provided that the foreign state ensures the presence of the defendant’s lawyer in the venue of questioning.

Article 168 Questioning of private parties
1. Provisions of articles 153, 154, 157, paragraph 2 and 361 shall apply for the questioning of private parties.
2. If a party refuses to answer a question, such fact shall be reflected in the minutes.

Article 248 Questioning of the arrested person
1. Not later than three days of the execution of the measure, the court shall question the person held in house arrest or pre-trial detention. The court shall proceed with the questioning within five days of the execution of the measure in case of other coercive or interdicted precautionary measures. The defence is entitled to be informed on the acts and obtain copies thereof.
2. The court shall, by way of questioning, verify the requirements and criteria for the application of the measure and the security needs provided for in Articles 228, 229 and 230 of this Code. If these conditions do not exist, the court decides to revoke or replace the measure. Otherwise, the court decides the continuation of its application. The court shall deposit its reasoned decision within 48 hours.
3. During the questioning of the arrested person, the prosecutor and defense lawyer shall take part, notified by the court secretary.
4. In the course of the judicial trial, the parties shall be entitled to submit evidence, except testimony evidence.
5. When the questioning of the arrested person must be made in the court of another district, the court shall ask that the questioning be made by a judge of such other court.
6. The prosecutor may not question the arrested person before the court has proceeded pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article.

Article 311 Questioning of the defendant in a joined proceeding
1. The person who is a defendant in a joined proceeding shall be questioned by the prosecutor in the forms provided for by article 167.

Article 312 Obtaining of information
1.The prosecutor receives information from the victim and from those who can indicate circumstances useful for the purposes of the investigation, observing the rules established for the assumption of testimony.
2. These persons are summoned by means of an order, which contains:
a) the personal data of the person;
b) the day, time and the venue for appearing;
c) the warning that the prosecutor may order the forced accompaniment in case of non- appearance without lawful impediments.
3. The prosecutor orders in the same way the summons of the interpreter and expert.
4. The summons is served at least three days prior to the day of appearance, except in urgent cases.

Rome Statute

Article 93 Other forms of cooperation

1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:

(c) The questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;