Interviewing a witness: forensic recommendations for obtaining reliable information

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Introduction: Criminalistics, as a special type of law enforcement activity, arose within the framework of criminal procedure, as an active means of implementing its provisions in the investigation of crimes, establishing all its circumstances, exposing the persons who committed it. It is the criminal procedure law that sets the limits and conditions for the use of forensic recommendations in the activities of an investigator in the investigation of crimes, recommending the use of necessary technical means and tactics in order to achieve the tasks listed in article 6 of the criminal procedure code of the Russian Federation. Interrogation is one of the main and most common investigative actions in practice. Its main purpose is to obtain from the participants of the process the necessary information that is necessary to confirm the version put forward by the investigator, or to correct the investigation and put forward new versions. At the same time, as the analysis of criminal cases and scientific literature shows, recently investigators, especially in the lower level of investigative units, do not pay enough attention to the preparation for interrogation, which does not fully allow to effectively counter illegal counteraction to the investigation of a criminal case. A number of interviewed investigators explained that they are guided by intuition when interrogating a witness. However, intuition cannot replace preliminary preparation for conducting an investigative action. Materials and Methods: the normative basis of the research is formed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, criminal and criminal procedure legislation, and scientific works of Russian scientists on this topic. The methodological basis of the research was the general dialectical method of scientific knowledge, which has a universal character, as well as methods of logical deduction, induction, cognitive methods and techniques of observation, comparison, analysis, generalization and description. The Results of the Study: allowed us clarifying certain provisions related to the forensic tactics of such a complex communicative investigative action as the interrogation of a witness. The author, based on the analysis of practice, proposed to divide all witnesses into three conditional categories - positive, neutral and negative, and offered recommendations on the use of tactical techniques during interrogation in order to obtain information from each category of witnesses. Parallel to this, the questions of overcoming of counteraction in the interaction of the investigator with the interviewee, revealed the types of countermeasures and the goals pursued by persons engaged in countering the investigator, recommendations on resistance. Findings and Conclusions: Professional interaction of the investigator in the production of interrogation is a type of crime interaction between the participants in criminal proceedings, which occurs as a result of societal response to crime, and is based on the criminal case, and aimed at achieving a specific result to solve the crime, identify the persons responsible for the commission of the offense, evidence of guilt of a crime of a specific person, so that subsequently the court, having considered criminal case on the merits, passed a lawful and reasonable sentence. The nature of the interaction of the investigator with the witness to be interrogated to establish all the circumstances, listed in article 73 of the Criminal Proceedings Code, will always be associated with a number of aspects: the conditional category to which you want to include the interviewee was positive, neutral, negative position, which adheres to the interviewee, as well as to counter the activities of the investigator to obtain information relevant to a criminal investigation, and counter. Getting information from people who belong to the conditionally positive category is significantly different from getting information from people who belong to the conditionally negative category. At the same time, as practice shows, almost all interrogated investigators should plan the use of certain tactics: a witness belonging to a conditionally positive category can be applied tactics that help focus on the most important; to a witness belonging to a conditionally neutral category, tactical techniques may be applied to prevent attempts to evade giving evidence under false pretexts; to a witness belonging to a conditionally negative category, tactical techniques may be applied to expose false testimony. When detecting counteraction, which can be either open or veiled, the investigator must develop tactical techniques to overcome the counteraction.


Investigator, witness, interrogation, interrogation planning, criminally significant information, open counteraction to the investigation, veiled counteraction, tactics, false testimony

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IDR: 143173269   |   DOI: 10.24411/2312-3184-2020-10091

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