Questioning a witness

A witness is obligated to provide answers orally. Parties, witnesses and other participants in the proceedings are entitled to use their language. When it is their turn to give evidence, the witness will take the witness stand in the hearing room. 
The witness is first asked for personal information: name and surname, father's name, profession, residence, place of birth, age and their relationship with the defendant and the injured party. After that, the witness is warned that they are obligated to tell the truth, must not conceal anything, and that giving false testimony is a crime. The witness will also be warned that they are not obligated to answer individual questions if they are likely to expose themselves or a close relative to grave embarrassment, considerable material damage or criminal prosecution. After the general questions, the witness is invited to present everything known to them about the case, and after that they will be asked questions for verification, supplementation and clarification. If witnesses at the hearing do not remember what they stated during the inquiry, the judge will read their statement given during the investigation procedure and ask if they stand by it. 
When questioning witnesses, it is not allowed to use deception or ask questions which lead the witness to a particular answer. The witness will always be asked how they got the information given in their testimony. During the questioning of a witness, they are asked questions by the parties to the proceedings, as well as by the chair and members of the judicial panel. Injured party(ies), legal representative, attorney in fact and experts may directly ask questions with the approval of the chair judge. 
The chair judge will forbid a question or will not allow an answer if the question has already been asked, if it is not allowed (i.e. it’s provocative, offensive or belittling the witness – in legal terms, suggestive and capricious questions) or does not apply to the case. If the witness has stated certain facts in their previous statement that they no longer remember or if they depart from it, they will be presented with the previous statement, that is, will be warned of the inconsistency and asked for the reason, and if necessary, their previous statement or part of it will be read aloud. The person questioned, persons obliged to take part in the proceedings of that party, the defendant and the injured party(ies), if present, have the right to read the minutes of the questioning of that person or to request that they be read to them. The questioned witnesses remain in the courtroom if the chair judge does not completely dismiss them after the questioning or orders them to leave the courtroom temporarily. The chair judge may, at the proposal of the parties or ex officio, order that the questioned witnesses leave the courtroom and subsequently be called in and questioned once again in the presence or absence of other witnesses. Witnesses can be confronted against each other if their statements on important facts do not match. They will each be questioned on each of the circumstances in which their testimonies don’t match, and their responses entered into the minutes. Only two witnesses can be confronted at one time. 

If it is found in the main hearing that a witness cannot or is significantly hindered from appearing in court, the panel of judges may, if they consider the witness’s testimony to be important, order that that the witness be questioned out of court by the chair or member of the judicial panel, or by the investigating judge in whose territory the witness is located (this is an out-of-court testimony). Witnesses who cannot or is significantly hindered from appearing in court can also be questioned via videoconferencing, regardless of whether the witness is in Croatia or abroad. 
When all participants in the proceedings have finished asking the witness questions, the chair of the judicial panel will tell the witness that they are free to go. If the witness is claiming expenses for travel to court, they should at this point address the chair of the judicial panel with the claim. 
A witness can stay in the courtroom to follow the hearing after he has finished testifying. 
If a witness or other person present at the sitting obstructs order or refuses to obey orders of the chair judge to maintain order, the chair judge will caution them or fine them up to 20,000.00 HRK. The judicial panel may order for the defendant or a person in the audience to be removed from the courtroom, whereas other persons can only be fined up to 20,000.00 HRK.