National judicial procedures protecting witnesses from identification – witness protection

Republic of Albania

Albania - Criminal Procedure Code 1995 (2017) EN

Article 165/a Witness with hidden identity
1. Where giving testimony might put the witness or his/her family members in a serious risk for his/her life or health, and the defendant has been charged of any of the crimes provided for in Articles 230, 230/a, 230/b, 230/c, 230/ç, 231, 232, 232/a, 232/b, 234, 234/a, 234/b, 265/a, 265/b, 265/c, and the witness protection program is not applicable, the court may, upon the request of the prosecutor, decide the application of special questioning techniques pursuant to Article 361/b of this Code.
2. The request of the prosecutor shall be submitted to the presiding judge of the panel in a closed envelope, with the note: “Confidential: witness with hidden identity”. In the request, the prosecutor shall present the reasons why the use of one or more of the special questioning techniques are needed.
3. In the envelope with the above note, the prosecutor shall insert also the sealed envelope containing the full identity of the witness with hidden identity. Only the presiding judge shall be entitled to know the real identity of the witness with hidden identity and he shall verify the capacity and incompatibility with the witness role pursuant to this Code. The date, name, signature and function of persons having opened the envelope and those becoming aware of the data contained in the envelope shall always be noted evidently on the envelope. Following the accomplishment of verifications, the envelope with the real identity of the witness with hidden identity shall be returned to the prosecutor.
4. The court shall examine the request of the prosecutor in closed session and decide by reasoned decision within forty-eight hours of the request submission.
5. The prosecutor may file a complaint against the court decision within forty-eight hours of the decision being notified. The appeal court shall examine the complaint in closed session and

decide on the complaint within forty-eight hours of the file being obtained. This decision shall not be subject to appeal.
6. If the court admits the request of the prosecutor, it shall decide on the pseudonym of the witness and the procedures for hiding the identity, notification, appearance and participation in proceedings. The questioning of the witness shall be conducted pursuant to the rules referred to in Article 361/b of this Code.
7. The witness shall participate in all stages of the proceeding only with the pseudonym ascribed by the court, unless otherwise provided for in paragraph 8 of this Article.
8. The questioning of the person with hidden identity and the assignment of the pseudonym during the investigation shall be done by the prosecutor. The acts where he takes part shall be signed by his/her ascribed pseudonym.”

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:

(j) The protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;