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Indictment of Fraud (Germany)

Charges (also known as public charges ) are brought in criminal proceedings by the prosecution (in many countries the public prosecutor's office ) if, after the preliminary investigation, there is sufficient suspicion that an accused has committed a criminal offense .

The indictment is thus the beginning of legal proceedings . It describes exactly the person of the accused . In the indictment sentence, it describes precisely the facts that the defendant is accused of and names the violated criminal provision according to its wording. It also interrupts the current statute of limitations . The defendant can comment on the indictment in a statement . In Germany and in most other law enforcement systems organized under the rule of law , the so-called accumulation principle prevails , according to which the prosecuting authority does not agree with thejudging authority may be identical. In Germany, according to Section 152 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, only the public prosecutor's office is called to bring public charges.

Bringing an indictment on an unsecured factual basis contradicts the code of criminal procedure, is therefore contrary to official duties and may open up claims for damages.

The main parts of the written indictment will be read out by the public prosecutor at the court hearing ( main hearing ) . It is the basis of the hearing against the accused. Only the facts described in it are the subject of this hearing, that is, the court may only include other acts not described in the indictment in this hearing if they were also previously charged with a supplementary charge ( immutability principle ).

However, the court is not bound by the legal assessment of the life facts accused, which the public prosecutor represents in its indictment. If it assumes that the accused are to be judged according to different rules than those specified in the indictment, the court may (and must) rule according to the rules which it believes are correct. However, the court must first have informed the accused of a new legal aspect .

If the court has made a final decision on an accusation (i.e. the facts of the life) (possibly also by acquittal), this accusation may not be made part of an indictment again ( Ne bis in idem ) .

The indictment must therefore clearly describe the actual occurrence of which the defendant is accused. In addition, it should reproduce the relevant wording of the law and cite the applicable regulations, as well as specify the evidence and - except in the case of an indictment before the criminal judge ( single judge at the district court ) - summarize the essential result of the investigation.

In contrast to the judging court ( In dubio pro reo ) , the prosecution usually has to start from the principle of In dubio pro duriore . For example, the auditor in Swiss military criminal proceedings cannot discontinue the proceedings himself if there are sufficient grounds for suspecting a crime or misdemeanor ( Art. 114 MStP ).

If no charges are brought after the investigation has been concluded, the injured party is also subject to a so-called enforcement procedure in accordance with Section 172 StPO under consideration, which is aimed at bringing charges. In Austria there is a similar instrument with the application for continuation ( § 195 StPO ). Even under Swiss law, a discontinuation order can be challenged at the appeals authority ( Art. 322, Paragraph 2, StPO ).

In simpler proceedings, in which only a relatively small sentence is to be expected, the public prosecutor's office can replace the formal indictment with a request for a penalty order (or a penalty mandate ). This shortens the legal process. A hearing only takes place if the accused objects to the penalty order.

No accuser is the representative of the public interest in administrative law .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: charge  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. BGH, judgment of May 18, 2000 - III ZR 180/99