Witness Protection
LexInter | March 16, 2002 | 0 Comments

Witness Protection

“TITLE XXI

“OF THE PROTECTION OF WITNESSES

“Art. 706-57. – Persons against whom there is no evidence suggesting that they have committed or attempted to commit an offense and who are likely to provide evidence relevant to the proceedings may, with the authorization of the public prosecutor or the examining magistrate, declare as domicile the address of the police station or the gendarmerie brigade.
“The address of these persons is then entered in a listed and initialed register, which is opened for this purpose.
“Art. 706-58. – In the event of proceedings relating to a felony or an offense punishable by at least five years’ imprisonment, when the hearing of a person referred to in article 706-57 is likely to seriously endanger life or the physical integrity of this person, members of his family or close relations, the judge of freedoms and detention, seized by a reasoned request from the public prosecutor or the examining magistrate, may, by reasoned decision, authorize that the statements of this person be taken without his identity appearing in the file of the proceedings. This decision is not subject to appeal, subject to the provisions of the second paragraph of article 706-60. The liberties and detention judge may decide to proceed with the hearing of the witness himself.
“The decision of the judge of freedoms and detention, which does not reveal the identity of the person, is attached to the report of the hearing of the witness, on which does not appear the signature of the person concerned. The identity and address of the person are entered in another report signed by the person concerned, which is placed in a file separate from the file of the procedure, in which also appears the request provided for in the previous paragraph. The identity and address of the person are entered in a listed and initialed register, which is opened for this purpose at the tribunal de grande instance.
“Art. 706-59. – Under no circumstances may the identity or address of a witness having benefited from the provisions of articles 706-57 or 706-58 be revealed,
“The revelation of the identity or address of a witness who has benefited from the provisions of articles 706-57 or 706-58 is punished by five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 Euro.
“Art. 706-60. – The provisions of article 706-58 are not applicable if, in view of the circumstances in which the offense was committed or the personality of the witness, knowledge of the identity of the person is essential for the exercise rights of defense.
“The indicted person may, within ten days from the date on which he was informed of the content of a hearing carried out under the conditions of article 706-58, contest, before the president of the investigating chamber, recourse to the procedure provided for in this article. The president of the investigating chamber rules by reasoned decision which is not subject to appeal in view of the documents of the procedure and those appearing in the file mentioned in the second paragraph of article 706-58. If he considers the dispute justified, he orders the cancellation of the hearing. He may also order that the identity of the witness be revealed on condition that the latter expressly makes it known that he accepts the lifting of his anonymity.
“Art. 706-61. – The person indicted or referred to the trial court may request to be confronted with a witness heard in application of the provisions of article 706-58 by means of a technical device allowing the witness to be heard from a distance or to have this witness questioned by his lawyer by the same means. The witness’s voice is then rendered unidentifiable by appropriate technical procedures.
“Art. 706-62. – No conviction may be pronounced on the sole basis of statements collected under the conditions provided for by articles 706-58 and 706-61.
“Art. 706-63. – A decree in Council of State specifies, as necessary, the conditions of application of the provisions of this title. ”
II. – The first and third paragraphs of article 62-1 and the third paragraph of article 153 of the same code are deleted

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