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Old 26.01.2010, 20:52
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Appearance in court to identify thief

Looking for a bit of advice.

My international guest was robbed / pickpocted in Geneva in a public park by a youth. We immediately lodged a police report and I was the prime witness to the crime. It seems the guy has been caught and I have been asked by a judge to appear in court and identify the criminal. My questions are:
1) I do not speak any German or French, so can I still testify?
2) Will my positive identification of the criminal be considered legally valid in spite of the language barrier?
3) How long does such a procedure take? Do I have to go to the court to testify only once or will the case drag on?

I know its a strange set of questions but it is indeed a strange situation! However, I do want to make sure that the criminal gets his due but being a busy professional my time availability is also limited.

Any and every advice will be appreciated.
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Old 26.01.2010, 20:55
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

I suspect if criminals knew they would walk free because witnesses didn't speak the local language, there would be a 1000% increase in tourists attacks.

They will, most likely, have translators which are assigned to the court for exactly such cases.
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Old 26.01.2010, 21:00
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

they will provide one, but only if you request it. or at least that was what happened in my case for my divorce.
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Old 26.01.2010, 23:19
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

I am very sure the prosecution will arrange for a translator.

Also, regardless of your busy schedule, dont you want to help your guest / police bring the thief to justice? Failing which, not sure about Switzerland but in most countries, you can be subpoened to be a witness if your employer doesnt want to let you off.
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Old 27.01.2010, 03:54
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

You must attend if requested, otherwise the judge can punish you for not performing your civic responsibility. A translator should be provided if they know one is needed.
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Old 27.01.2010, 09:04
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

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Looking for a bit of advice.

My international guest was robbed / pickpocted in Geneva in a public park by a youth. We immediately lodged a police report and I was the prime witness to the crime. It seems the guy has been caught and I have been asked by a judge to appear in court and identify the criminal. My questions are:
1) I do not speak any German or French, so can I still testify?
2) Will my positive identification of the criminal be considered legally valid in spite of the language barrier?
3) How long does such a procedure take? Do I have to go to the court to testify only once or will the case drag on?

I know its a strange set of questions but it is indeed a strange situation! However, I do want to make sure that the criminal gets his due but being a busy professional my time availability is also limited.

Any and every advice will be appreciated.
What your eyes got to do with your tongue ?
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Old 27.01.2010, 09:45
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

a translator would be made available for you and yes it is worth it.

the prceedure wont be a long one , you will be in and then out as soon as you have identified the felon and answered any questions put to you by the defence, you may be in breach of court rules / protocol by not appearing , so check that out.

good luck
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Old 27.01.2010, 09:54
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

Your employer is required by law to give you time for court appearances. Also, if you need a translator, this will be provided. Good luck!
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Old 27.01.2010, 10:04
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

I was a witness in a burglary case in Scotland a couple of years ago.

I had to wait for half an hour before being called in, and when they called me in, they asked me, what time i came home that day, and if i immediately had informed the police, what was missing etc. I had lost a mobile Phone, and the prosecutor asked me if i could confirm it was my Phone, which I answered with Yes, then the defending Lawyer got up and asked, how I could be 100% sure it was my phone and not an identical model, and I answered we had put a SIM card in, and looked at the saved numbers, and last called numbers, and then I was 100% sure, and the judge said thank you, and i could go home.

It was half an hour waiting time, and ca. 10 minutes in the court room, and they reimbursed me from the loss of earning, as I had to take half a day off from work, and they refunded the costs of getting there.

The court case was almost 1 year after the burglary, and I got my invitation to court with just 2 days notice, including an instruction, when I should call the judge "Your honor", and "My Lord"

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Old 27.01.2010, 10:27
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Re: Appearance in court to identify thief

Quote:
View Post
Looking for a bit of advice.

My international guest was robbed / pickpocted in Geneva in a public park by a youth. We immediately lodged a police report and I was the prime witness to the crime. It seems the guy has been caught and I have been asked by a judge to appear in court and identify the criminal. My questions are:
1) I do not speak any German or French, so can I still testify?
2) Will my positive identification of the criminal be considered legally valid in spite of the language barrier?
3) How long does such a procedure take? Do I have to go to the court to testify only once or will the case drag on?

I know its a strange set of questions but it is indeed a strange situation! However, I do want to make sure that the criminal gets his due but being a busy professional my time availability is also limited.

Any and every advice will be appreciated.
You have to request an official translator which should be paid
by the court in your case.
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