Criminal Prosecution

Update time 2021-03-10 15:50

Prosecutors conducting the control of pre-trial investigation seek to ensure that a pre-trial investigation would not infringe the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, international agreements, Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred as CPC), as well as the requirements of other laws or legal acts.

Proper performance, organization, command and control of pre-trial investigation safeguard the mission embodied by Article 1 of CPC which aims in defence of human and citizen rights and freedoms, as well as public and state interests at a speedy and detailed detection of criminal acts and a proper application of the law in order to ensure that any person who has committed a criminal act is given a fair punishment and that no one who is innocent is convicted.

According to the competence established by legal acts, a prosecutor, while organizing, leading and controlling the activities of pre-trial officers in criminal proceedings aiming to ensure the purpose of the criminal procedure, including the duty to employ all the measures empowered by law in order that the investigation would result in revealing the crime in the shortest possible time, ought to ensure the legitimacy and speedy performance of the pre-trial investigation, secure the rights of the participants of the proceedings and the possibility to enjoy these rights, select effective and proportionate coercive measures, establish and change the course of the investigation to make it quick, rational and effective.

The stage of pre-trial investigation is the time when the support for the state accusations to be pronounced in court shall be prepared. The prosecution on behalf of the state is a prosecutor’s activity by which he seeks to prove the guilt of the person who is charged with the commitment of the criminal act. Usually, it is the duty of the state to prosecute the persons who committed criminal acts and a prosecutor is assigned to perform this duty. Prosecutor must be objective and shall prosecute a person only when being sure that the indicted person has committed this criminal act. The essence of the indictment is comprised of prosecutor’s efforts which aim to prove that the indicted person, whose case is under court examination, is guilty for the commitment the criminal act.

The most significant legal acts are:

Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

Law on the Prosecutor’s Office

Criminal Code

Criminal Procedure Code

Civil Code

Civil Procedure Code

Code of Administrative Offences

Regulations of the Competence of Prosecution Service and Prosecutors

Recommendations on Prosecutors’ Specialization in Criminal Proceedings and Distribution of Pre-trial Investigations to Prosecutors

Recommendations on the Commencement of the Pre-trial Investigation and Order of its Registration

Recommendations on Prosecutor’s Activities in Organizing and Leading a Pre-trial Investigation

Recommendations for Preparation of the Notification of Suspicion and on Re-qualification of Criminal Acts in the Course of Pre-trial Investigation

The competence between the Criminal Prosecution Department of Prosecutor General’s Office and the Specialized Criminal Prosecution Divisions of Regional Prosecutor’s Office has been defined by Order No. 1-141 of 17 April 2012 on Competence Regulations of Prosecution Service and Prosecutors (Wording of Order No. 1-290 dated 30 December 2014).

Prosecutors of Criminal Prosecution Department of Prosecutor General’s Office shall organize, carry out and lead pre-trial investigations in cases of exceptional significance that are equally important for the formation of practice of the pre-trial investigations and those on behalf of the state, as well as in cases which may lead to the formulation of new explanations of legal norms or provide the basis to diverge from the practice of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, and these prosecutors shall support the charges on behalf of the state in the courts of all instances. Prosecutors of this Department also analyse the status of criminality within the country or particular regions, summarize the data of pre-trial investigations which are underway (carried out and/or organized) both in Prosecutor General’s Office and territorial offices in terms of crime categories, proper application of procedural and material legal norms, support of prosecution on behalf of the state, including the data about the cases of certain crime categories which have already been examined by courts, except the cases on criminal acts under Section XXXIII (torture or other inhuman treatment of persons) and Section XXXVII of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred as CC), as well as the criminal acts under Article 249 (except crimes on swindling committed by a criminal association, misappropriation of property, crimes against economy, business order or financial system), and also Article 250 and Article 2501 of CC. They participate in hearing of cassation complaints at the Supreme Court of Lithuania and in the hearings of criminal cases in the proceedings of the renewal of criminal proceedings due to newly revealed circumstances, where fresh proceedings were initiated due to the clearly inappropriate application of criminal law as judged by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights.

Prosecutors of Criminal Prosecution Division of Regional Offices shall support the charges on behalf of the state, participate on the hearing of complaints in all regional or district courts when the pre-trial investigation was organized and conducted by the Division Prosecutor. They participate in the hearing of the appellate complaints in all regional courts when the state charges were supported by the Division Prosecutor and they submit responses to appellate complaints when the case is reviewed in written proceedings, if prosecution on behalf of the state at the court of first instance was carried out by the Division Prosecutor.