Witness is a person who had the opportunity to perceive the circumstances of the committed criminal offence, in some cases criminal offence was committed on them directly.
During criminal proceedings the witness testifies about the circumstances of the committed criminal offence which is being discussed, about what they had the opportunity to see, hear or perceive in another way. As opposed to the perpetrator of a criminal offence, the witness has a duty to always give truthful testimony. The witness also has a duty to appear at the respective law enforcement authority upon being summoned and testify, i.e. to act as a witness. The witness can be exempt from this duty only in cases expressly stated in law specified by Section 100 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Witness can refuse to testify in two cases, specified below:
1.) If they are a relative to the accused person in direct line of descent, their siblings, adoptive parent, adoptive child, husband, partner or cohabitant;
2.) If their testimony could put themselves, their relative in direct line of descent, their siblings, adoptive parent, adoptive child, husband, partner or cohabitant or other persons in family relationship or similar, whose harm they could rightfully feel as their own harm, into danger of criminal prosecution.
Each witness must always be warned beforehand about their right to refuse to give testimony within the criminal proceedings.
If the witness is summoned to give testimony at court it is important that they have their ID card or another proof of identity, their notice to appear, which the witness received from court, or documentary evidence which they were called to produce at court as a witness or those that they want to produce at court on their own.
If the witness is an injured party in the criminal proceedings at the same time, it is important that they also bring along the assessed amount of damages.