The parties to court proceedings in criminal cases are the victim (the injured party), the accused (the defendant) and the prosecutor.
The injured party has a stake in the proceedings if they have claims against the defendant, i.e. the suspected perpetrator. The charges brought against the defendant are read out by the prosecutor. The court can also hear testimony from witnesses if necessary.
District courts can also deal with criminal matters by written procedure. In such cases, no oral hearings need be held. Written procedure means that the judge rules on the case based on documentary evidence alone. Documentary evidence includes the police’s pre-trial investigation report, which explains the facts as established in the course of the pre-trial investigation.
The written procedure is intended for dealing with uncontested minor offences. The objective is to speed up the processing of open-and-shut cases. In order for a case to qualify for the written procedure, the defendant must have admitted their guilt and waived their right to a trial. The injured party’s consent is also required. Crimes committed by children under the age of 18 years are not eligible for the written procedure.
The written procedure gives the accused (the defendant) the right to submit a written statement in response to any claims made against them.
The written procedure concludes with the district court sending its ruling to the defendant and the injured party.