Fichas Belgas
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Request/decision
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages
Languages

Execution Deadline
Deadlines

Legal info
Special requirements
Other information

Fiches Belges: Dinamarca

Audiencia de testigos: procedimiento normal (702)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Dinamarca

Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

The provisions of The Administration of Justice Act explicitly apply to witness examinations requested by foreign public authorities (compare The Administration of Justice Act § 190). A request for observance of a special form or procedure, including examination conducted from abroad by use of telecommunication equipment, must, where possible, be complied with, unless such compliance would clearly be incompatible with Danish Law.

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Dinamarca

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

The Convention of 20 April 1959 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and the Convention of 29 May 2000 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union.

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Dinamarca

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

For serious economic offences: The State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crimes. Other offences: Local Police and Prosecution District.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

For serious economic offences: The State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crimes. Other offences: Local Police and Prosecution District.

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Dinamarca

Accepted languages for the request/decision

Denmark will receive requests in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English but will also receive requests in French and German although translation may be done at sending states expense.

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Dinamarca

Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

N.A.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Dinamarca

a. Special requirements

N.A.

b. Other useful information

During the investigation: The police can conduct interrogations but cannot order anyone to make a statement. Everyone is, however, upon request, obligated to state name, address, and date of birth to the police. In court: The hearing of witnesses is governed by a principle of immediacy. This principle can be viewed as the positive counterpart to the principle of the inadmissibility of hearsay evidence, and entails that whenever possible testimony must be presented by the original source directly before the judge(s) of the case, provided that the resources required are not disproportionate to the relative significance of the testimony. The court may direct that testimony is to be given before the district court considered most appropriate. A court’s decision to direct a witness to give evidence before a district court is typically made when travel time would render it unreasonable for the witness to give evidence before the court. In cases where the requirements above are not met, a preliminary session of the court may be held, provided that the evidence might otherwise be lost. This might be the case where the witness is suffering from serious illness or in cases of organised crime where it is not unlikely that the witness at a later point will refuse to give testimony. It is the duty of any witness, if necessary, to refresh his or her memory concerning the case before attending the court, e.g. by inspecting any books of account, letters or records or by inspecting object to which he or she has access at no cost or inconvenience. If a witness fails to comply with this duty he or she may be liable to pay damages or subject to fines or incarceration. Before examining the witness, the court must ascertain the identity of the witness, and the absence of any impediment to the witness giving evidence. The court will then impress on the witness the duty speak the truth and inform the witness that the giving of false evidence is a punishable offence. Each witness is examined separately. Unless other directed by the court, a witness may not be present during the examination of other witnesses, court appointed experts or parties. The examination must be conducted in a manner allowing for the production of clear and truthful evidence. This entails that where possible, the witness must be allowed to speak consecutively, and it should be clear from the evidence whether it is based on the witness’s own observations. Furthermore The court decides whether the witness may use his own notes or other supporting materials during the examination. The court may direct that a witness is to give evidence by use of video or voice communication equipment. No special rules apply in assessing the significance of the case’s evidence (as it in some (not Danish) jurisdictions e.g. is the case concerning circumstantial evidence). Witness examination starts with the presiding judge asking the witness to give his or her name and other relevant information for identification. Furthermore it must be confirmed, after assessment of the court, that the witness is legally able to give testimony. The witness is also told that he or she is obliged to tell the truth and that failure to do so may result in penalty. Hereafter the witness examination will commence. Witnesses summoned by the prosecution are first examined by the prosecution then by the council for the defence. Witnesses summoned by the council for the defence are first examined by the defence then by the prosecution. The presiding judge may choose to make alterations to this procedure. In cases where the accused is represented by an attorney, the accused him- or herself does not have a right to examine witnesses. In order to clarify matters that might bring the court closer to the actual sequence of events, the presiding judge is obliged to ask the witness questions. The presiding judge can do so at any point during the examining of the witness. The court may choose to summon witnesses that neither the prosecution nor the council for the defence have summoned. In such instances the presiding judge will conduct the witness examination. Unless otherwise decided by the presiding judge, a witness may not be present during the testimony of another witness before he or she has given his or her own testimony. This rule does not apply where the witness is also the accused. A witness is obliged to give testimony. Despite this, circumstances may dictate that it is unlikely to obtain testimony from a witness. In such cases coercive measures may be ordered by the court, or if possible the court may allow for the prosecution to present statements given by the witness at an earlier occasion. This will typically be allowed if the witness is deceased, if the witness has given testimony to another court, when the earlier testimony has been given in the presence of the accused, when there is discrepancy between the present testimony and an earlier statement, or when the witness refuses to give testimony and coercive measures should not be used or have been used to no avail.

Last reviewed on 6 julio 2016 by Secretariado de la RJE
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