Suspect of a crime

The police carry out the investigation of crimes. This process is called a pre-trial investigation. Other pre-trial authorities are the Finnish Border Guard, Finnish Customs and the Finnish Defence Forces. In the course of the pre-trial investigation, the following points of information are established: the offender and the other parties, the circumstances of the offence (time, place, method, instrument) and the other items of interest to the prosecutor. The police also determine the loss caused by the offence and the possible claims for compensation of the injured parties.

The prosecutor then decides how to proceed in the case by making an evaluation of charges. For each suspect and each alleged act, the prosecutor evaluates whether a criminal offence has been committed and if there is a prima facie case against the suspect. Even if the offence and the offender are known, the prosecutor may under certain circumstances decide not to prosecute, e.g. owing to the minor significance of the offence.

The decision not to prosecute is open to complaint to the Prosecutor General, who is competent to take the case upon him or herself for fresh consideration. A complaint can also be filed if the conduct of the prosecutor otherwise gives rise to dissatisfaction.

You can read more about the complaints procedure on the Office of the Prosecutor General’s website.

The parties can also be referred to mediation.

Published 28.10.2013