The Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic explains the norms of criminal procedure legislation governing the initial stage of the criminal procedure.
A prosecutor, investigator, investigative authority (police; state security bodies; commanders of military units, formations, heads of military institutions; customs authorities; heads of penal institutions, pre-trial detention centres; state fire control bodies; state border guard bodies) or a judge must accept applications and reports on commitment or preparation of offence, including in cases that are not subject to their jurisdiction (Part 1 of Article 107 of the DPR CPC).
The reasons for instituting criminal proceedings are (Article 104 of the DPR CPC):
1) statements or messages of legal entities, officials, authorities, public or individual citizens;
2) reports of authorities, public or individual citizens who detained the suspect at the scene of a crime or in the act;
3) admission of guilt;
4) messages published in the press;
5) direct detection by a body of inquiry, investigator, prosecutor or court of evidence of a crime.
According to a statement or report of a crime, the prosecutor, investigator, body of inquiry or judge must, no later than three days, make one of the following decisions:
1) institute criminal proceedings;
2) refuse to initiate criminal proceedings;
3) send an application or message to the addressee.
If it is necessary to verify a statement or report on a crime before opening a case, such verification is carried out by a prosecutor, an investigator or an inquiry body within a period not exceeding 10 days by selecting explanations from individual citizens or officials or by requesting the necessary documents. If it is impossible to complete the check within 10 days in connection with the receipt of the requested documents, this period can be extended up to 30 days by a reasoned resolution of the body conducting the check agreed with the prosecutor (Part 4 of Article 107 of the DPR CPC).
A case can only be initiated if there is sufficient evidence to indicate that there are evidence of a crime.
The procedure for instituting criminal proceedings is regulated by Article 108 of the DPR CPC:
If there are reasons and grounds specified in Article 104 of the Code, the prosecutor, investigator, body of inquiry or judge are obliged to issue a resolution to initiate a criminal case, indicating the reasons and grounds for initiating a case, an article of the criminal law on the basis of which the case is initiated, as well as its further direction.
If at the time of the initiation of the criminal case the person who committed the crime has been identified, then the criminal case should be initiated against this person.
Cases of crimes under Part 1 of Art. 116, Part 1 of Art. 117, Part 1 of Art. 118, Part 1 of Art. 132, Art. 390 of the DPR Criminal Code are initiated by a judge, and in cases where a crime, under the given articles in this part of the text, is of particular public importance, as well as in exceptional cases, if the victim in such a case or in the case of a crime specified in Part 1 of Art. 133 of the DPR Criminal Code, due to his/her helpless state, depending on the accused or for other reasons cannot defend his/her legitimate interests, initiated by the prosecutor.
After the initiation of the case:
1) the prosecutor directs the case for the preliminary investigation or inquiry;
2) the investigator begins a preliminary investigation, and the body of inquiry begins an inquiry;
3) the court appoints a case ready for trial, Part 1 of Art. 116, Part 1 of Art. 117, Part 1 of Art. 118, Part 1 of Art. 132, Art. 390 of the DPR CPC.
Additionally, we draw your attention to the fact that citizens have the right to send a written statement on preparation or commitment of offence to any state body of the Donetsk People’s Republic, however, in accordance with Part 5 of Article 8 of the DPR Law No. 13-IHC as of 20.02.2015 “On citizens’ recourse”, it will be transmitted to the relevant body.