Afghanistan

Criminal Procedure Code

 Article 53-55

UNTOC Articles

  • Organized Crime Convention

  • Article 24 : Protection of witnesses
  • Trafficking in Persons Protocol

  • Smuggling of Migrants Protocol

  • Firearms Protocol

    Original Text

    Chapter 7
    Witness Protection

    Protective Measures for Witnesses
    Article 53:

    (1) The prosecutor’s office or court according to circumstances can issue a ruling to take one or more of the following actions to ensure the protection of the witness.

    1– Concealing the name, residential address, work place, occupation, official deed, registration book or file or any other information, which could lead to the identity of the witness.
    2– Forbidding the accused person’s defense attorney to disclose the identity of the witness or any information that could lead to the identity of the witness.
    3– Avoiding the disclosure of any record or document which could lead to the identity of the witness, unless directed otherwise by a competent judge.

    (2) In conditions set forth in paragraph (1) of this article, the witness is given an alias.

    (3) Apparent and physical characteristics of the witness are concealed as follows:

    1– Testifying behind a nontransparent curtain.
    2– Testifying through a technical voice and visual changer device.
    3– Live broadcasting of the questioning from another location which will be connected to the court room via closed circuit television.
    4– Hearing the statements and testimony of the witness, and questioning of the witness using a pre-recorded video tape ahead of the trial, provided that the accused person’s defense lawyer is present while the testimony of the witness is being recorded in a video tape.
    5– Removing the accused person from the court room for a temporary period of time if the witness refuses to testify in presence of the accused person or if the witness will not testify truthfully in the presence of the accused person. In such cases the defense attorney can remain in the court room and ask the witness questions. The witness testimony will be narrated to the accused person after he/she returns to the court room.

    Witnesses That Will Receive Protective Measures
    Article 54:
    The prosecutor’s office and the court shall protect the following witnesses:

    1– A witness or a relative of a witness whose security is at risk due to threat, menace or any other similar action.
    2– A witness that has suffered serious physical or psychological trauma as a result of the crime.
    3– A witness who suffers from serious psychological conditions.
    4– A child witness.
    5- The security forces are required to protect the witnesses mentioned in the above paragraphs based on permission of prosecution office and court until the removal of danger.

    Application for Protective Measures for Witnesses
    Article 55:
    (1) The witnesses set forth in article 54 of this law may request protective measures to be taken during the investigation and trial process from the prosecutor’s office and the court respectively.

    (2) The application shall be submitted to the prosecution office and court in a sealed envelope. Both the prosecutor’s office and court shall review the application and make a decision in their relevant areas. Disclosure of this information to others is forbidden.

     
     

    Cross Cutting

    • Witnesses and Victims

      • Protection Measures

        • • Non-disclosure or limitations on the disclosure of information on identity and whereabouts or hearings
          • Domestic evidentiary rules
          • Closed hearings of sensitive evidence
          • Physical protection
     
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