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Witness protection as an indispensable tool in the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Europe

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12841 | 23 January 2012

Author(s):
several Assembly members
Signatories:
Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr James CLAPPISON, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Renato FARINA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Mirjana FERIĆ-VAC, Croatia, SOC ; Mr György FRUNDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Tamás GAUDI NAGY, Hungary, NR ; Mr Martin GRAF, Austria, NR ; Mr Oliver HEALD, United Kingdom, EDG ; Mr Rafael HUSEYNOV, Azerbaijan, ALDE ; Mr Željko IVANJI, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Dick MARTY, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Pasquale NESSA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Tudor PANŢIRU, Romania, SOC ; Ms Elsa PAPADIMITRIOU, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Valery PARFENOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Mailis REPS, Estonia, ALDE ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Ilyas UMAKHANOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Miltiadis VARVITSIOTIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Luigi VITALI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Ms Renate WOHLWEND, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD
Thesaurus

Witness testimonies are fundamental to the functioning of any criminal trial in a state upholding the rule of law. By their testimony, witnesses make an essential contribution to the proper functioning of justice, to the fight against impunity and to maintaining the confidence of the people in the authorities.

During the past years, the Parliamentary Assembly has examined the question of witness protection in the Balkans. Resolution 1784 (2011) on the Protection of witnesses as a cornerstone for justice and reconciliation in the Balkans stresses that witnesses who stand up for truth and justice are owed reliable and durable protection. Without the protection and support that witnesses need to be able to testify, justice and reconciliation in the Balkans cannot be achieved.

Reliable and durable witness protection for those who stand up for truth and justice is necessary not only for war crimes and not only in the Balkans. Such a protection is of vital importance in the fight against organised crime and terrorism - problems which may occur, in principle, throughout Europe.

The Assembly therefore resolves to study carefully the question of the protection of witnesses as an indispensable tool in the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Europe.

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