The First Department determined the alleged victim of an assault was properly allowed to testify by Skype from Egypt. The victim had been prohibited from returning to the US from Egypt and the prosecutor had done everything possible to facilitate his return:
We conclude that, given the unusual circumstances of this case, and the prosecutor’s good faith, the People made the specific, individualized showing necessary to justify remote video testimony. The Confrontation Clause’s general guarantee of face-to-face testimony is not absolute … . Video testimony is permissible “provided there is an individualized determination that denial of physical, face-to-face confrontation is necessary to further an important public policy and the reliability of the testimony is otherwise assured” (People v Wrotten, 14 NY3d 33…). Moreover, in Wrotten, the Court of Appeals recognized that video testimony could be employed in circumstances other than those involving a vulnerable child witness or a witness who was too ill to appear in court, as was the case in Wrotten (id. at 39-40).
Defendant concedes that the two-way video testimony at issue “preserve[d] the essential safeguards of testimonial reliability” … . The dispositive question is whether the testimony was ” necessary to further an important public policy'” … , which, in this case, is “the public policy of justly resolving criminal cases” … , a showing that must be made by clear and convincing evidence … . People v Giurdanella, 2016 NY Slip Op 07577, 1st Dept 11-15-16
CRIMINAL LAW (ALLEGED VICTIM OF ASSAULT PROPERLY ALLOWED TO TESTIFY FROM EGYPT VIA SKYPE)/EVIDENCE (CRIMINAL LAW, ALLEGED VICTIM OF ASSAULT PROPERLY ALLOWED TO TESTIFY FROM EGYPT VIA SKYPE)/VIDEO, REMOTE TESTIMONY (CRIMINAL LAW, ALLEGED VICTIM OF ASSAULT PROPERLY ALLOWED TO TESTIFY FROM EGYPT VIA SKYPE/SKYPE (CRIMINAL LAW, ALLEGED VICTIM OF ASSAULT PROPERLY ALLOWED TO TESTIFY FROM EGYPT VIA SKYPE)