Victims' rights - by country

Cyprus

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Cyprus

How can I be involved in the trial?

What are my rights as a witness?

I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?

Can I receive legal aid?

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

How can I claim damages from the offender or receive compensation from the state?

Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?

I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?

More information

How can I be involved in the trial?

Like the investigation, there is no specific legal capacity in which you can be involved in the trial. Apart from being interviewed as a witness you can only attend the public court hearings as an observer.

What are my rights as a witness?

The court will call you as a witness and inform you about the date of the hearing and you have the obligation to appear. You have the right to interpretation in relation to your testimony, if you do not speak Greek. You are allowed to be present at the hearing, even if it is not public, after you give your testimony.

At any stage of the proceedings, the court may order the reimbursement of your expenses as a witness. Those may include the costs you have incurred, together with any loss of time or discomfort the court establishes.

I am a minor. Do I have additional rights?

If you are a minor, you have some additional rights:

  • during the proceedings, to be accompanied by your parents or by an authorised officer, if you are under the custody of the Social Welfare Services;
  • to always be considered a witness in need of protection.

Can I receive legal aid?

If you are a victim of a human rights violation (1) and are part of proceedings against the Republic of Cyprus for its alleged failure to protect or respect your rights, you may apply to the court for legal aid free of charge. Legal aid includes free consultation, assistance and representation.

Currently, the relevant legislation is under amendment in order to provide for free legal aid to the victims of human trafficking.

How can I get protection, if I am in danger?

Under special circumstances, the court has the authority to receive and present your testimony without your presence in court as a witness.

The court may order that the whole trial or parts of it be closed or that you give testimony in the absence of the defendant. In special cases, the court has also the discretion to order the use of a special separator, a closed circuit TV system or another system, guaranteeing that you will not be visible to the defendant.

The Prosecutor General may decide whether you need to be included in the ‘Witness Protection Plan’ and what protection you and your family, if needed, will be given. Protection measures may include:

  • escort;
  • transfer to another place of residence within the country, which will be kept secret;
  • transfer to another country;
  • change of identity;
  • special arrangements of detention.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or human trafficking and exploitation, you are always considered a witness in need of protection, unless you ask not to be considered as one.

How can I claim damages from the offender or receive compensation from the State?

You can only claim damages from the offender in a civil court, following a procedure, separate and independent from the criminal trial.

You can also claim compensation from the State. Please consult the factsheet on compensation to crime victims in Cyprus (available in Greek) of the European Judicial Network.

Are there opportunities to reach settlement/conciliation or to start mediation between the offender and myself?

There is no such possibility.

I am a foreigner. How are my rights and interests protected?

If you are a foreigner, you have all the rights explained above and the right to interpretation free of charge, if you do not speak Greek.

More information:

  • Criminal Procedure Law (Ο περί Ποινικής Δικονομίας Νόμος)
  • Protection of Witnesses Act of 2001 (Ο περί Προστασίας Μαρτύρων Νόμος του 2001)
  • Legal Aid Act of 2002 (ο περί Νομικής Αρωγής Νόμος του 2002) – in Greek
  • Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes Act of 1997 (ο περί Αποζημίωσης Θυμάτων Βίαιων Εγκλημάτων Νόμος του 1997)
Note:

1. Human rights violations
According to the legislation, human rights violations are violations of the rights, listed in the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of Child.
Last update: 03/07/2018

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