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Supreme Court of Denmark

Anonymous witness 
10-04-2018 

Case no. 9/2018
 

Order made on 10 April 2018


The Prosecution Service
vs.
T1, T2 and T3


Witness could be heard anonymously in a case involving illegal possession of firearms under particularly aggravating circumstances

The case concerned the issue of whether a witness in a criminal case on illegal possession of firearms under particularly aggravating circumstances could be heard anonymously, where the witness’ name, occupation and address could not be disclosed to the defendants.

The Supreme Court stated that a defendant has the right to know the identity of the witnesses heard in a criminal case. However, under Section 856(2)(2) of the Danish Administration of Justice Act, the court may order that the witness’ name, occupation and address not be disclosed to the defendant, if it is assumed to have no influence on the defendant’s defence, and if required to protect the witness.

Based on an overall assessment of all the circumstances of the case, the Supreme Court held that it must be assumed to have no influence on the defendants’ defence that the identity of the witness is not disclosed, and that the witness’ name, occupation and address should not be disclosed to protect the witness.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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