The right to be heard

If you are a victim of crime, you have the right to inform authorities about the fact. Then, you will be heard by police officersor a prosecutor and you will be able to tell them about the incident, its circumstances and the perpetrator, provided you know the person. You also have the right to receive relevant assistance from the authorities,as well as free psychological and legal help, if needed.

Once the police or the prosecutor decide to launch the preparatory proceeding (inquiry or investigation in case of more serious crime) to catch the perpetrator, you may be interrogated again by the police or the prosecutor if they need additional information about the incident. Then, you will be able to describe in greater detail of what happened and if you missed any detail during the first inquiry, you will have an opportunity to supplement your testimony.

Once the perpetrator has been caught and accuseddue to the action launched by the police or the prosecutor, you will be called by the court to respond to some questions that the court, prosecutor or defence lawyers may have.

If you are a victim of a sexual crime, do not be ashamed to inform authorities about the fact. You will be asked to provide only the most important information, such as dateand place of the incident, perpetrator, possible witnesses, and there will be no need to describe details of the incident. If it is necessary to interrogate you as a witness, this will take place during a special court session without the presence of the perpetrator.You will not have to appear in person during the hearing at the court. On that occasion, the court will only listen to the recording of your previous interrogation.

Victims of violence, false imprisonment, trafficking in people, torment or threat of, or when, for instance, a nude picture is taken without a person’s consent and the person is below 15 at that time,such people require special care.In such instances, as a rule, the interrogation takes place only once and it is conducted by the court at the presence of a psychologist in a special room (i.e. ‘blue room’) designated to that purpose.The presence of the perpetrator during such interrogation is prohibited. Similar conditions can be applied in case of victims who are between 15 and 18years of age, if it is necessary due to their psychological condition.