Being the victim of a crime in a foreign country places victims in a particularly vulnerable situation, as they do not know how criminal proceedings work or what support services are available, they have difficulty understanding another language and their stay in the country where the crime was committed is usually a short one, which makes it difficult to participate it and keep abreast of the case.
People who are the victims of a crime in a country other than their country of residence should be able to avail themselves of measures that make it easier for them to participate and, in particular, to be informed about the progress of the case. These measures include the authorities providing all the necessary information and appointing an interpreter to ensure the victim fully understands the different procedures in which they participate.
A resident of a European Union Member State who is the victim of a crime in another Member State may report the crime to the authorities in their country of residence, if they have not reported it in the country where the crime was committed.
In this case, the authorities of the victim’s country of residence should promptly transmit the complaint to the relevant authorities of the country where the crime was committed.
In the European Union, the victim of a crime that occurred in a country other than their country of residence may make a statement immediately after the crime was committed. In Portugal, a victim who resides in another country may make a statement that can later be used as evidence at the trial, thus avoiding the victim having to return to Portugal.
This statement is called a statement for future recall (declarações para memória futura).
However, if it is necessary to question the victim again but they are no longer in the country where the crime was committed, they may be questioned in a telephone conference or videoconference call from the country in which they reside.
Victims of a violent crime committed in a European Union Member State who usually reside in another Member State may file their claim for compensation with the authority in their country of residence which has the jurisdiction to assess and decide on this kind of request. This authority should transmit the request to the relevant authority of the Member State in which the crime occurred. In Portugal, the authority with the jurisdiction both to receive claims from people who reside in other countries and who were victims of crime in Portugal and to send the claims of persons resident in Portugal who were the victims of crime in other European Union countries is the Commission for the Protection of Victims of Crime.
APAV can help you exercise your rights.
For more information, please click here or here.