Democratic Republic of the Congo
Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section G. Examination of witnesses
In 2008, a training manual by the Prosecutor at the Military High Court for magistrates on techniques for investigating sexual crimes, including war crimes, was adopted as part of the Programme on Investigating Sexual Crimes of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Regarding the participation of victims and witnesses in the proceedings, the training manual states:
Certain victims and witnesses may collaborate with justice under the protection of anonymity, although the resort to such measure is obviously a serious violation of the rights of defence. There is thus a dilemma opposing, on the one hand, victims and witnesses, who claim their right to respect and protection; and on the other hand, the accused, whose right to a fair trial implies the possibility of … examining or having examined victims and witnesses against him.
Nevertheless, the protection of the identity of victims and witnesses is imposed by international tribunals in exceptional circumstances … [C]ertain proceedings before these tribunals take place when the conflict is ongoing or the situation in the field is far from stable. These factors increase the risk of reprisals and thus require the use of exceptional mechanisms of protection.