The main goal of the Public Prosecutor is to guard the rule of law and prosecute crime.
One of the obligations of the Public Prosecutor is to circulate information about crime. In many instances, a victim does not have to file a complaint, and anyone actually may report a crime (not only victim). A report is sufficient for the Public Prosecutor to instigate pre-trial proceedings sometimes also against the will of the victim.
A separate category comprises crime prosecuted upon a complaint filed or consent to prosecute expressed upon which the public prosecutor instigates the official procedure. A request to instigate prosecution can be written or oral. Such a request should cover all offenders, not only those mentioned by the victim, and the victim is informed about the fact. Thus, it is the victim who decides about instigating and running of the investigation. Once a request is filed, the process follows rules of indictable crime.
We should also mention another category of private prosecution where the victim files private charges with the Court. In the case of private prosecution, the Public Prosecutor may instigate an indictable prosecution procedure if the crime involves public interest. It most often happens when the victim is a vulnerable person, elderly or is not able to take care of his/her own interest.
The Public Prosecutor is ‘responsible’ for the pre-trial proceedings, supervises the activity of the Police and requests police officers to perform certain actions. Frequently, the Public Prosecutor conducts proceedings him/herself, e.g. interrogating of witnesses, engaging of experts, and participating in a crime scene examination, as well as activities reserved for the Public Prosecutor in the proceedings, such a supressing charges.
After the pre-trial phase, the Public Prosecutor analyses evidence collected and makes a decision to file charges with the court against the offender.
During the court proceedings, the Public Prosecutor tries to prove charges. The Public Prosecutor’s goal is to prove facts specified in the indictment against the offender who becomes the accused during the court proceedings. To this end, the Public Prosecutor presents evidence in the form of witness statements, expert opinions, and various documents. The Public Prosecutor may appeal the decision of the court of first instance with the court of second instance.
The Public Prosecutor also plays an important role as regards provision of information and assistance to the victim. First and foremost, he/she provides information about institutions that may provide assistance to victims of crime.
Any activity of the Public Prosecutor is subject to a complaint that can be filed with the prosecutor of higher instance.