Andrey Kutepov, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on economic policy, has developed a draft amendment to the code of criminal procedure that will allow an investigator to interrogate a crime witness, victim, or expert using video conferencing systems. At the moment, the initiative has been sent to the government and will be submitted to the state Duma in the near future.
According to the developers of the bill, its purpose is to eliminate procedural absurdities and protect the rights of citizens. At the moment, the investigation of criminal cases can be repeatedly extended due to the fact that the witness or victim was not interrogated.
From a technical point of view, an online interrogation procedure is a video call from one investigator to another, followed by an interview with a witness, victim, or expert. Of course, a mandatory identification procedure is carried out first: the investigator who has the witness checks his identity documents, special status, and other information if necessary. After confirming the identity of the second investigator can conduct an interview, draw up a report.
Online questioning will help if the witness, victim, or specialist is located in other regions. For example, if a person was passing through the city and witnessed a crime, or if a specialist with the necessary knowledge is not present in the region where the crime is being investigated. This form of interrogation will help to avoid additional material and time, since the absence of witnesses or victims living in another city or region is a significant reason for countless extensions of the investigation period. Despite the fact that part 1 of art. 152 of the criminal procedure code of the Russian Federation provides an investigator with the opportunity to entrust the production of individual investigative actions to another investigator. for high-quality interrogation, it is necessary to know all the collected materials of the criminal case and the circumstances of the crime.
Proposed article 189.1 the code of criminal procedure of the Russian Federation will allow to interrogate witnesses and other persons listed in the draft law, via videoconferencing at the stage of preliminary investigation in compliance with the basic rules and requirements of the criminal investigation and taking into account the specifics of the interrogation of minors.
Given that not all units of the preliminary investigation bodies currently have the appropriate technical equipment, the draft law provides that interrogation via videoconferencing will be possible only if it is technically possible.