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Call for reliable and durable protection for witnesses who stand up for truth and justice

“Witnesses who stand up for truth and justice must be guaranteed reliable and durable protection, including legal and psychological support and robust physical protection before, during and after the trial,” PACE said today.

In a resolution, based on a report by Arcadio Diaz Tejera (Spain, SOC), the parliamentarians said that witnesses can be particularly vulnerable to perceived or actual threats and intimidation from perpetrators of crimes against themselves and/or people close to them, especially in cases of organised crime and terrorism.

According to the Assembly, further steps need to be taken in the area of witness protection, notably setting up, or if need be, revisiting witness protection mechanisms; allocating appropriate financial and human resources to bodies dealing with the protection of witnesses; and reconsidering rules on mitigating sentences and granting immunity from prosecution in cases of organised crime and terrorism in order to provide greater incentives to collaborators of justice to co-operate with the authorities.