During the preliminary investigation and court hearings, it becomes necessary to call witnesses to court. The outcome of the case itself and the fate of the suspects, accused or defendants depend on the correct tactics of their interrogation and the preparation of the necessary documents related to this procedure.
At the stage of preliminary investigation, most often the questioning of witnesses begins with their identification. When making up the introductory part of the protocol, the investigator or interrogator will ask about personal data: place of residence, place of work and marital status of the witness. Then the official will certainly inform the witness about his right to use Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, according to which no one is obliged to testify against himself and his loved ones. If the witness agrees to testify, then he signs the interrogation protocol about it.
Then the investigator (interrogator) talks on abstract topics with the witness. This is done in order to psychologically relax the person and help him remember everything that connected and connects him with the suspect, accused or victim. Thus, the official receives all the information that the witness can remember.
An obligatory moment of the interrogation is the warning of the interrogated about criminal liability for giving false testimony. This must be done tactfully. Next, you should build a conversation in the form of a free story. After that, the investigator (interrogator) asks leading questions and makes adjustments to the story.
It is necessary to take into account during the interrogation that it is impossible to interrupt the interrogated person. If a person has a bad memory, you can ask him reminding and control questions.
Interrogation should take place in a calm atmosphere, without external irritants and strangers. An exception is a lawyer if he is invited by a witness or a legal representative (teacher), if the witness is a minor. In any case, a lawyer does not have the right to ask questions of a witness, he is only a procedural person who controls the course of the interrogation in accordance with the law.
After the completion of the procedure, in the protocol of the interrogation of the witness, the signature of the interrogated person is put on each page and at the end of the document. The invited defender performs the same actions.
In the judicial instance, the interrogation of witnesses takes place in a slightly different form. It builds on the evidence already available in the case and is rather confirming or clarifying the nature of the information. Witnesses are summoned to court by summons. The bailiff makes sure that they do not communicate with each other before the start of the trial.
All witnesses are summoned to the courtroom one at a time. The interrogated witnesses remain in the courtroom and do not contact the non-interrogated participants in the process. A witness in free form tells everything that he knows about the circumstances of a particular case. Then he is asked questions by those procedural persons, at whose request he was summoned to the court to testify. Further, all officials participating in the court session can ask. The presiding judge or, in the case of collegial consideration of the case, other judges can clarify the questions.
Interrogation can take various forms. The court has the right to interrogate one witness to clarify the testimony given earlier or to conduct a simultaneous interrogation of two witnesses in the form of a face-to-face confrontation. Thus, all contradictions are eliminated and clarifications are made to what was said earlier.
On the initiative of the court or other participants in the process, it is possible to call a witness again to testify in court. This is necessary when contradictions are found in the case related to the testimony of a particular person.