During any criminal case, the victim is entitled to be heard and to provide information that may be important for the investigation and submit evidence.
When the crime is first reported (if this is done by the victim), he/she has the opportunity to provide as much relevant information and evidence as possible to the authorities receiving the report.
Later on in the investigation, the victim will be called on by the police or, in some cases, by the Public Prosecution Service , to make a statement. At this time, the victim can add details that were not mentioned in the formal report or complaint.
If the defendant is charged, the victim will be called upon again to give a statement and to answer the questions of the different participants in the trial.
In the case of victims of human trafficking or sexual crimes, the examining judge may, or must when a victim of a sexual crime is a minor, question the victim at the inquiry stage or the examination stage. This means that their statement may, if necessary, be taken into account during the trial, so as to avoid having them repeat their testimony more than once. The participants in this examination, besides the examining judge, are the public prosecutor, the defendant and the defence lawyer and the lawyers of the assistant and of the civil parties. This statement is known as a statement for future recall and is recorded for use during the trial. However, the trial judge will very often want the witnesses to testify and they may be called and questioned again.
In addition, whenever the victim has information they consider important to communicate immediately, they can, and should, do so straightaway, preferably in writing, to whichever authority is dealing with the case at the time. The authorities can also, at any time, ask the victim for further information or clarification.
APAV can help you exercise this right.