Examination of witnesses - national proceedings

Albania

Albania - Criminal Procedure Code 2011 EN

FIRST PART

TITLE IV – EVIDENCE

CHAPTER II- TYPES OF EVIDENCE

SECTION I- TESTIMONY

Article 153- Scope of testimony

1. A witness is examined on facts, which constitute object of evidence. He cannot testify on the moral standing of defendant, except when the case is relevant to facts that serve to determine his character in relation to the criminal offence and danger posed to the society.

2. The examination of a witness may also extend to kindred relationship and any existing interests between the witness and parties or any other witnesses, as well as to circumstances, the proof of which is necessary to evaluate his trustworthiness. The testimony on facts that serve to define the character of the person injured by the criminal offence is admitted only when the charge against the defendant must be evaluated against the injured person conduct.

3. A witness is examined on specific facts. He may not testify about what is said in public and may not express personal opinions, except when they cannot be severed from the testimony on facts.

Article 154- Indirect (hearsay) testimony

1. When the witness, for the introduction of facts, refers to other persons, the court, on the request of the party or even ex-officio, orders that they be summoned to testify.

2. Non compliance with the provisions of paragraph 1 makes the statements on facts that the witness has learned from other persons invalid, except in cases when their questioning is impossible because they are deceased, seriously ill or cannot be found.

3. A witness cannot be questioned on facts that he has learnt from persons who are obliged to maintain their professional or state secrecy, except in cases where these persons have given statements on the same facts or have spread them out in any other way.

4. The testimony of a witness who refuses or is unable to tell the person or the source of information on the facts he is questioned on cannot be used.

FIRST PART

TITLE IV – EVIDENCE

CHAPTER III- MEANS OF SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE

SECTION I- EXAMINATIONS

Article 198- Cases and types of examination

1. Examination of persons, places and items is ordered by the proceeding authority when it is necessary to discover traces and other material consequences of the criminal offence.

2. When the criminal offence has left no traces or material consequences or when those have destroyed, lost, altered or removed, the proceeding authority describes the situation and, when possible, verifies how it has been prior to changes and also takes steps to ascertain the way, time and grounds for changes that may have occurred.

3.The proceeding authority may order photographing, filming and any other technical act.

FIRST PART

TITLE IV – EVIDENCE

CHAPTER III- MEANS OF SEARCHING FOR EVIDENCE

SECTION I- EXAMINATIONS

Article 199- Examination of persons

1. Examination is performed by honouring the dignity and, as far as possible, the protection of the person being examined.

2. Prior to examination, the person examined is informed of his right to request the presence of a confidant, provided that he may be found immediately and is suitable.

3. Examination may also be performed by a physician. In such a case, the proceeding authority may choose not to take part in the examination.

4. When it is necessary to ascertain facts that are important to the case, it is permitted to take blood specimen and other bodily interventions even without the consent of the person, if it posses no danger to his health.

PART II

TITLE VII- THE TRIAL

CHAPTER II- THE COURT EXAMINATION

SECTION III - THE TAKING OF EVIDENCE

Article 361- Examination of witnesses

1. The questioning of the witnesses is made directly by the prosecutor or the defence lawyer or attorney who has demanded the questioning. After this, the questioning continues by the parties, in order.

2. The one who has demanded the questioning may ask questions even after the other parties have terminated theirs.

3. Questions are prohibited that influence negatively the impartiality of the witness or that intend to suggest the answers.

4. The presiding judge may permit the witness to look at the documents prepared by the witness in order to help his memory.

5. The questioning of juvenile witnesses may be performed by the presiding judge, upon the parties’ requests and objections. The presiding judge may be assisted by a member of the juvenile’s family or by an expert of child education. When it is considered that the direct questioning of the juvenile does not harm his psychological condition, the presiding judge orders the continuation of the questioning according to the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2. The order may be revoked during the questioning.

6. During the questioning of the witness the presiding judge may ask questions and, when appropriate, intervene to insure orderly questioning, the truthfulness of the answers, the accuracy of the interrogations and objections, as well as to guarantee respect for the person.

7. The witness may be interrogated at a distance, in the country or abroad, through audiovisual connection, in compliance with rules stipulated in international agreements and provisions of this Code. The person authorized by the Court remains at the witness’s location, certifies his/her identity, and ensures the correct process of interrogation and of the implementation of protective measures. These actions are recorded in a report.

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;