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Discrediting a witness in court: sources of information

Dmitry Nikiforov, lawyer

One of the creative tasks for the defense in criminal proceedings is to find information that discredits the witness. Especially such information will help to strengthen the position of the defense party in proving the provocation of the crime by law enforcement agencies.

Law enforcement officers still involve in criminal proceedings people who are followed by a train of convictions and similar provocations in the past. The same applies to witnesses who are involved in investigative actions by law enforcement officers.

About 100 open registries of a lawyer to help. But several sources are most effective for finding witness-vulnerable information. I share my own experience.


The bot can be used not only to monitor court decisions. Search by last name, first name and patronymic. As a result, you can get information about:

  • Establishment of companies by a person or opening of a sole proprietorship. The next step is to check the companies themselves to see if they are involved in criminal proceedings. In this way, you can track a person's potential connections with law enforcement or find out his motives for cooperating with them. For companies, the bot opens information not only on the presence / absence of tax debt, but also on the amount of debt (the SFS portal does not provide such information).
  • Litigation in which a person is a party. At this stage, you can learn about a person's criminal record, his role and procedural status in other criminal proceedings.

Judicial Power of Ukraine Portal

On the portal of the judiciary, we are interested in the section "Information on the stages of litigation." According to the search results in the field "Party to the case" you can get information about all cases in which the person participated. On the Portal you can get a complete "court file" per person.  

Unlike OpenDataBot, the portal opens all cases with the participation of a person regardless of his procedural status. If one person is a victim, accused or party's representative in different cases - you will receive information with the case number, the parties to the case and the stage of the trial.

For example, with the help of the Portal you can see that a bribe-taker has already been seen in other similar criminal proceedings. A good start for proving the provocation of a crime. What information can be found on the Portal, see the screenshot.

       Unified state register of court decisions

If you learned information about the case number in court with the help of the Judicial Power of Ukraine portal, you can easily find out the content of the decision in the Unified State Register of Court Decisions.

To do this, click on the portal "Judiciary of Ukraine" for the case and go to the link "Judicial decisions". An alternative is to enter the court decision number in the appropriate field on the website of the Unified State Register of Court Decisions. Although the information on the person's full name is hidden in the Register, the content of the decision can still be used to guess who it is.

With the help of these 3 sources of information, you can sometimes get a complete file on the witness, and sometimes - just a clue. Search recommendations also apply to victims. The found information can allow to explain motives of the person on commission of provocation of a crime or signs of incitement to its commission.

In one of the latest cases, these sources revealed the criminal past of 3 participants in the criminal proceedings at once: a witness, a victim and an acquaintance involved in the search. So just in case, check if the witness appeared in your case by accident.


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