Can a witness or expert be interrogated by videoconference in a criminal trial in Spain?
The answer to this question is yes.
It is to be requested in writing and, as in all cases, it is the judge or court who will resolve such request based on certain guarantees that must be based on the necessity, suitability and proportionality of the measure.
In fact, article 731 LECrim (Spanish Criminal Procedural Law) regulates the reasons to be able to carry it out, which are reasons of utility, security, public order, or that the personal appearance is particularly burdensome or harmful.
On the other hand, the statement of a witness or expert who is in the territory of a member state is also possible. The interrogation by videoconference will be carried out in the same way as if it were being practiced in the courtroom.
Although there are authors who consider that there is a certain limitation of the principle of immediacy in the sense of physical immediacy, and this is because they understand that it is not the same to see and hear a statement in the courtroom, being able to observe every detail or reaction of a witness, than by videoconference.