Duty to cooperate with a pre-trial investigation
The police gather material for a pre-trial investigation by questioning and interviewing the parties involved and any witnesses, and by collecting written evidence. Use is also made of crime laboratory research facilities. To help solve a case, the police may even reconstruct the crime and carry out an inspection of the crime scene.
The police are entitled to record the personal descriptions of suspects and to enter these details in computer registers.
The police have a right to order any persons at the scene of a crime or in the immediate vicinity to remain where they are or to attend a specified place for interview. Where necessary, the police may also prevent anyone leaving the scene of a crime and apprehend anyone for interview. Anyone apprehended must be notified immediately of the reason for doing so, unless this is rendered impossible by the person's condition or the circumstances.
The police also have the right to request somebody's name, address and other personal data in the course of making inquiries about a matter. Refusal to give personal data can lead to a fine or up to three months' imprisonment.
Preliminary questioning is conducted for example at the stage where no specific suspect has yet been identified. This questioning is usually conducted at the place where the offence was committed. Even in such preliminary questioning, witnesses must report truthfully and without concealment what they know about the matter being investigated.
At the questioning stage the police will establish the background to the case by making inquiries, questioning people and asking questions. Questioning is normally conducted prior to the official interview but can also be carried out after the status of those being interviewed has been established (i.e. suspects, injured parties, witnesses) and the interview stage has begun.
| Print page