Anyone who has direct knowledge of important facts relevant to the process, that is, anyone who has seen the crime or knows something relevant for finding out the truth, can be called upon to participate as a witness.
In principle, anyone who is appointed as a witness must testify.
The witness has the following duties: to attend whenever summoned, on the indicated day, time, and place; to comply with the instructions given to them on how to testify; and to answer all of the questions that they are asked truthfully. If you want to know more, click here.
The witness cannot attend the trial before giving their testimony. They should wait in the area reserved for witnesses and only enter the courtroom when called upon by the court officer
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If they wish, the witness can be accompanied by a lawyer anytime they have provide evidence.
The witness may not have to attend the trial: In some cases, the witness’s testimony can be recorded during the investigation phase and used as evidence during the trial. This testimony is called a statement for future memory and, in addition to preventing the witness from having to repeat what they have already said, it allows the judge to consider what the witness knows about what happened in the discovery of truth without them having to be present.
Special measures can be applied to protect witnesses when their life, wellbeing, freedom, security, or property is in danger because of their contribution to the process. These measures can also be extended to the witnesses' relatives and other people close to them. To learn more, click here.
Witnesses that are considered particularly vulnerable can benefit from a set of protective measures. To learn more, click here.