Draft Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code of Armenia on the protection of crime witnesses and of victims of trafficking (2004)

Article 15. Chapter 12 of the Code should be amended to read as follows:

Article 98. Protection of Parties to Criminal Proceedings
1. Every party to criminal proceedings, who is able to provide information that may be significant for solving the crime and identifying its perpetrator, which endangers his, his family members’, or close relative’s life and safety, shall be entitled to protection.
2. The protection of parties to criminal proceedings shall be carried out by the criminal proceeding authority.
3. Having discovered that a party to the proceedings (referred to in this Chapter as “the Protected Person”) needs protection, the criminal proceeding authority shall, either at the motion of the person, or at its own initiative, take the decision on undertaking protection measures, which shall be carried out immediately.
4. The motion of a party to criminal proceedings on undertaking protection measures shall be reviewed by the criminal proceeding authority immediately, but no later than within 24 hours of its receipt.  The applicant shall immediately be notified of the decision reached, and a copy of the decision shall be sent to him.
5. An applicant may, within 5 days of receiving a copy of the decision on refusing to undertake protection measures, appeal against it to court or, if a copy of the respective decision has not been received within 24 hours of application, appeal to court demanding that protection measures be undertaken.  The court shall review the appeal against the decision to refuse protection measures and the demand to undertake protection measures within 24 hours of receipt.
6. The refusal to undertake protection measures shall not inhibit the party to criminal proceedings applying again with a motion to undertake such measures, if he has undergone a threat or an attack, or if other circumstances not reflected in the previous motion have become known.
7. The administration of arrest/detention or correctional institutions shall apply to the criminal proceeding authority requesting protection of the arrested/detainee or individual serving an imprisonment sentence, respectively.

 Article 981. Protection Techniques
The protection techniques are the following:
1) Protection of information pointing to the identity of the protected person;
2) Ensuring personal security, and protection of the house and assets;
3) Provision of special devices for personal protection and notification of danger;
4) Use of technical means of surveillance and wiretapping of telephone and other correspondence;
5) Ensuring safety in the appearance of the protected person before the criminal investigation authority;
6) Transferring to another place of residence;
7) Substituting identification documents or changing the look;
8) Changing the place of work, service or education; and
9) Court hearing in camera.
More than one protection technique could be implemented in the case of necessity.
Article 982. Protection of Data Pointing to the Identity of the Protected Person
Data pointing to the identity of the protected person shall be protected in the following way:
1) By means of restricting information on the person in materials, applications, notes, and other documents, as well as minutes of investigative actions and court sessions; and replacing the name, surname, and patronymic with pseudonyms in such documents on the basis of a decision of the investigative authority, investigator, prosecutor, and court on modifying personal data.  These decisions shall not be attached to the case materials, and shall be retained in segregation by the criminal investigative authority.  Only the court and criminal investigative authorities shall have access to materials segregated from the bulk case file; other parties to proceedings may have access to such materials only if so permitted by the criminal investigative authorities, and only if it is necessary to carry out protection of a suspect or the accused, or to clarify any circumstance that is significant for case investigation;
2) By means of inserting a temporary ban on the disclosure of information on the protected person

Article 983. Ensuring Personal Safety and Protection of the House and Assets
1. If the necessity arises, the Protection Agency shall, in collaboration with other authorized agencies, carry out the personal protection of the Protected Person and the protection of his house and other assets.
2. The house or other assets of the Protected Person may be equipped with fire safety or other technical signal devices.  His home phone number or state license plate number of his vehicle may be changed.

Article 984. Provision of Special Devices for Personal Protection and Notification of Danger
In the event of a threat to the personal security of the Protected Person, he may be given, in accordance with the requirements of the current legislation, special devices for personal protection or notification of anticipated danger.

Article 985. Use of Technical Means of Surveillance and Wiretapping of Telephone and Other Correspondence
In the event of an imminent threat of violence or other illegal actions against the Protected Person, his telephone or other conversations may be wiretapped on the basis of his written request or oral consent.  During such wiretapping, recording may be applied.
Article 986. Ensuring Safety of the Protected Person in His Appearance before the Criminal Investigation Authority
If necessary, the Protection Agency shall ensure the safe transfer of the Protected Person to the criminal investigation authority when summoned by the latter.

Article 987. Transferring to Another Place of Residence
1. The Protected Person may be temporarily or permanently transferred to another place of residence for the purpose of ensuring his safety.
2. The criminal investigation authority shall, in accordance with the procedures set forth by the Government of Armenia, address issues related to the transfer of the person to another place of residence, the assignment of living space, the provision of monetary compensation in the amount of the minimum salary, and job placement.
In the event of temporary transfer to another place of residence, the right over living space in the permanent place of residence shall survive.
3. Transfer to another place of residence may be carried out at the request of the Protected Person, or upon the decision of the criminal authority with the written consent of the Protected Person, but only in exclusive cases, if there is a situation in which the personal safety of the Protected Person cannot be achieved in other ways.

Article 988. Substituting Identification Documents or Changing the Look of the Protected Person
1. Upon necessity, the identification documents of the Protected Person may be substituted, and his look may be changed.
2. Document substitution and change of the look may be carried out at the request of the Protected Person, or upon the decision of the criminal authority with the written consent of the Protected Person, but only in exclusive cases, if there is a situation in which the personal safety of the Protected Person cannot be achieved in other ways.

Article 989. Changing the Place of Work or Education
1.  If the Protected Person has to leave his former place of work or education in order to eradicate the danger to his safety, then the Person shall be assisted, at his request or with his consent, with finding a new place of work or education.
2.  The period of forced idleness of the Protected Person shall count towards his employment length, and compensation shall be paid to him for that period, which could not be less than his salary.  In the event of a low salary at the new place of work, the difference between salaries shall be compensated to the Protected Person in accordance with the RA legislation.

Article 99. Rights and Responsibilities of the Protected Person
1.  The Protected Person has the right:
1) To file motion on carrying out or terminating protection measures;
2) To know about the protection measure or measures to be implemented, their type, implementation period and termination, undertaken in respect of him;
3) To demand that the Protection Agency undertake additional protection measures;
4) To reject protection measures; and
5) To file judicial appeals against the decisions or actions (inaction) of the Protection Agency or its officials.
2.  The Protected Person must:
1) Carry out the lawful demands of the Protection Agency officials;
2) Immediately notify the Witness Protection Service of any case of threat or illegal action in respect of him, and of any change to his personal life and activities;
3) Avoid any activity that may endanger him; and
4) Preserve the assets and documents assigned to him by the Protection Agency for temporary use.
3.  The criminal investigation authority shall be obliged to give explanation to the Protected Person of the rights and responsibilities of the latter, and to assist their realization by the Protected Person.

Article 991. Grounds and Procedure of Terminating Protection Measures
1.  The application of protection measures may be terminated, if:
1) The Protected Person has so requested in writing;
2) The Protected Person has given false testimony, which has been confirmed by a court decision that has entered into legal force;
3) The Protected Person has failed to honor the obligations under Article 99(2) of this Code;
4) The imminent threat to the life or safety of the protected person is no longer; and
5) The Protected Person has deceased.
2. Termination of protection measures shall be carried out on the basis of a decision of the criminal investigation authority, which in the period of three days should be announced to the protected person and may be subject to a judicial appeal.”