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Is a WhatsApp a valid piece of evidence?

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It most certainly is, and it can be submitted by means of collation by the lawyer of the Administration of Justice, for them to identify the content of both the WhatsApp and the telephone number from which it came.  Notarial act could also be submitted regarding the content of the WhatsApp and the telephone number that appears as to the sender.  This can be challenged by the other party, in which case the party who provided the content of the WhatsApp should provide computer expertise to prove that the content and the sender have not been tampered with.

A Notarized affidavit could also be provided with regard to the content of the WhatsApp and the telephone number of the sender.  This can be challenged by the other party, in which case, the party who submitted the content of the WhatsApp should provide computer expertise to prove that the content and the sender have not been tampered with.

In conclusion, the content of the WhatsApp can be considered as valid evidence if it has not been technically contested by the other party, and if, despite being challenged, the bearer of the message has brought a computer expert to the trial to prove that the content has not been manipulated.

How is WhatsApp submitted and used in Court?

The data contained in an electronic device must be brought to the proceedings on a specific medium, which will determine the means of evidence used. In principle, all means of evidence provided by law are suitable for incorporating electronic data into legal proceedings.

Firstly, their content can be printed in paper format and submitted to the proceedings as a paper document.

Secondly, they can be incorporated into the proceedings through the submission of the electronic document itself, i.e. the data contained in the electronic device.

Finally, it is important to remember that this data can also be accessed in the proceedings through other traditional means of evidence: the cross examination of the party or the accused, testimony, expert testimony and/or judicial recognition. For example, the witness or the accused can be asked whether they have received or sent a WhatsApp message.

Please bear in mind that in the same proceedings, several means of evidence can be used cumulatively: for example, the smartphone on which a WhatsApp conversation is found, together with a written transcript of the conversation, requesting a collation by the Judicial Secretary; and testimony (or cross examination of the party or the accused) on the content of that conversation.

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