Constitutional Court extends right not to incriminate family member to “close friends”

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the right of a witness or person being interrogated not to incriminate a family member now applies also to “close friends”.

The ruling stemmed from a specific case involving a woman asked to testify about an alleged rape of a friend by her husband. The witness had refused to testify on the grounds that she was a close friend of them both.

The Constitutional Court annulled a court fine of 10,000 crowns against the woman. Justice Vojtěch Šimíček said that friendships can be stronger than family ties.