Protection of safety of physical or psychological well-being of victims, witnesses and families


Estonia - Criminal Procedure Code 2003 (2017) EN

Chapter 3

Division 2
Hearing of Witnesses

ยง 67. Ensuring safety of witnesses

(1) Taking into account the gravity of a criminal offence or the exceptional circumstances relating thereto, a preliminary investigation judge may, at the request of a Prosecutor's Office, declare a witness anonymous by a ruling in order to ensure the safety of the witness.

(2) In order to make a ruling on anonymity, a preliminary investigation judge shall question the witness in order to ascertain his or her reliability and the need to ensure his or her safety, and shall hear the opinion of the prosecutor. If necessary, the preliminary investigation judge shall examine the criminal file.

(3) A fictitious name shall be assigned to an anonymous witness on the basis of the ruling on anonymity and the name shall be used in procedural acts in accordance with subsection 146 (8) of this Code.

(4) Information concerning the name, personal identification code or, in the absence thereof, date of birth, citizenship, education, residence and place of employment or the educational institution of a witness declared anonymous shall be enclosed in an envelope bearing the number of the criminal matter and the signature of the person conducting the proceedings. The envelope shall be sealed and kept separately from the criminal file. The information contained in the envelope shall be examined only by the person conducting the proceedings who shall seal and sign the envelope again after examining the information.

(5) In a court proceeding, a witness bearing a fictitious name shall be heard by telephone pursuant to the procedure provided for in clause 69 (2) 2) of this Code using voice distortion equipment, if necessary. Questions may be also submitted to the witness in writing.

(6) Regardless of whether or not a witness has been declared anonymous, the provisions of the Witness Protection Act may be applied to the witness in order to ensure his or her safety.
[RT I 2005, 39, 307 - entry into force 21.07.2005]

Rome Statute

Article 87 Requests for cooperation: general provisions

4. In relation to any request for assistance presented under this Part, the Court may take such measures, including measures related to the protection of information, as may be necessary to ensure the safety or physical or psychological well-being of any victims, potential witnesses and their families. The Court may request that any information that is made available under this Part shall be provided and handled in a manner that protects the safety and physical or psychological well-being of any victims, potential witnesses and their families.