Criminal proceedings commence by means of the investigation conducted by the investigating judge. Investigation is instituted against a specific person if reasonable suspicion exists that the relevant person has committed a criminal offence. The state prosecutor submits a request for investigation to the investigating judge.
Based on the material provided by the police and the state prosecution service, the court additionally examines the circumstances of the criminal offence and collects evidence. During the investigation, the investigating judge e.g. interviews the defendant and witnesses, conducts an inspection, orders expert opinions or a search of premises.
Criminal investigation is closed to the public.
After a completed investigation, the court submits a notification on the completed investigation together with the material collected to the state prosecution service.
If the state prosecutor believes that sufficient evidence exists on the basis of the material collected for the continuation of criminal proceedings, they file an indictment. The main part of criminal proceedings commences on the basis of the indictment.
If, during or after the investigation, the state prosecutor decides not to file the indictment or withdraws from prosecution, criminal proceedings may be instigated or continued by the injured party as the prosecutor within 30 days.