Who is the accused? Who is the suspect?
The suspect is the person being investigated due to the crime
suspicion by Prosecution Office or law enforcement offices (police,
gendarmerie) functioning under the auspices of the Prosecution
Office. If a criminal case is brought against this person, he/she
is named as an accused.
I have been informed thet I am a suspect of a crime. I have
been called to police station or Prosecution Office? What should
First of all, stay calm. Bear in mind that you are living in a
state governed by the rule of law and human rights are protected
by constitutional safeguards. After you inform your family and
relatives, go to the relevant police station or Prosecution
Office. It is for your interest to go there with your lawyer to
enjoy legal councel.
am testifying, What will happen?
Remember that you might be at the begining of the process as a
result of which you can face a serious situation and you can be
deprived of your freedom if your statement is being taken as a
suspect. People and even public officers around you may tell you
that it is not important, nothing can happen or the
prosecutor can release you now in order to appease you. Bear in
mind that these expressions are wishes of courtesy. The things
you states and do in the process in which you are can lead to
irreversable results. The exercise of the rights to which you
are given are under constitutional guarantee. Do not hesitate to
exercise your rights.
What is the meaning of taking into custody?
It means detention of the person under crime suspicion by a
public prosecutor or law enforcement offices (police,
gendarmerie) functioning under the auspices of the Prosecution
Office upon the order of the public prosecutor for interrogation.
If the person taken into detention is not released, he/she shall
be brought before the judge within 24 hours from the date on
which apprehension warrant is issued. Duration necessary to send
the apprehended person to the closest judge or court is not
included in this duration. Due to the difficulty in collecting
evidence and the number of the suspects in collectively
committed crimes, the prosecutor can issue written order to
extend the duration of detention to 3 days.
I have to testify
No. You are entitled to exercise your right to remain silent.
However you are obliged to give true answers to the questions
regarding your identity. Otherwise you can face criminal
sanctions and measures.
What if I lie?
It is in your intrest to express the truths as they are. However
nobody can force you to do so. False testimony is a crime but
false testimony of the accused is not prescribed as a crime.
However given that criminal justice is based on discreation of
the judges and it is left to the judges to apply mitigated
reasons, you should bear in mind that you can have troubles in
this sense if it is understood that you have lied.
Can I change my testimony?
As you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to
change what you have testified before. However you should bear
in mind that repeated change of testimony can be interpreted by
prosecutors or judges as a sign to lie and to manipulate the
Would I get lesser punishment if I explain the facts in a
Somebody can recommend you to explain the facts in a different
way. Sometimes it happens that there are those sentenced to
heavier punishment than it requires, since they follow these
recommendations to explain the facts in a different way. For
instance, an accused charged with using drugs can be sentenced
to more severe punishment after being classified as a drug
dealer, since he/she explains the facts in a different way to
clear her/himself. For this reason, if you are not able to judge
the legal process and its outcomes, this sort of attitudes can
give rise to negative results rather than positive ones.
Is it a requisite to hire a lawyer?
Criminal proceedings may result in something as a result of
which you may be kept in prison and deprived of your freedom. It
is of your high interest to have a lawyer. If you are a suspect
charged with a crime whose minimum sanction is more than 5 years
in prison, it is a must for you to have a lawyer. If you are not
in a positon to select a lawyer, state shall assign a lawyer for
you. If you are under the age of 18 or you are dump or deaf and
you have no lawyer, state shall assign a lawyer for you
irrespective of the crime attributabed to you.
When shall I hire a lawyer?
There is a misconception that it is not necessary to have a
lawyer at law enforcement and prosecution office level. For this
reason, it is observed that lawyer is hired only when there is
an arrest decision. The earlier the lawyer is involved in the
process, the better the rights of the suspect are protected. It
is not true attitude to wait until you are taken in prison in
order to understand the importance of the situation.
What is arrest?
A person against whom there is strong suspicion can be deprived
of his/her freedom if there is a strong crime suspicion
indicating that there is an attemp to escape or to destroy, hide
or change evidence, or to exert pressure on witness, victim or
other in order to keep the sound functioning of criminal
proceedings as a measure. Arrest is not punishmet but measure.
Arrested person shall be released from the moment when
conditions for arrest no longer exist. The fact that a person is
on trial as an arrested accused does not necessarly mean that he
will be punished at the end of the trials. Likewise, the fact
that a person is arrested does not necesarrily mean that he will
not be punished.
I stand trial not being remanded in custody, meaning Im not
to be sentenced
This perception is completely wrong. The number of those
sentenced and sent to the prisons is quite high, though they are
not remanded at the beginnig. The fact that you have not been
remanded does not necessarily mean that you will not be
sentenced to improsenment. Even if you are not arrested, you
shall appear in trials and fulfil the requriments specified by
the courts as early as possible.
What does relase mean?
In principle, proceedings are held without remanding the accused
in the custody. However custody is decided where the above
exceptional situations exist and there is a must for this
purpose. The news in the media that persons are released in
progress of judicial process are presented in a way capable of
giving the impression that they have been acquitted. This is a
mistake. Even if a person is not remanded, he/she is still an
accused and under the threat of sanction. If he/she is found
guilty, he/she shall be sentenced.
Prosecutor released me, m I acquitted now?
Prosecutor does not consider every single case as a case
requiring arrest. Even though some cases are serious, reasons
for arrest as specified in the law do not exist. The fact that
the prosecutor does not refer you to courrt for arrest does not
mean closure of the case. Unless there is a non-prosecution
decision given about you, your status as a suspect continues. It
is possible that you can be sentenced after being tried as an
What is the meaning of non-prosecution decision?
Prosecutors are not obliged to initiate a case after every
investigation. He/she measure the facts with his/her legal
knowledge. He/she considers whether or not there is a crime, if
yes, whether or not there is sufficient evidence to identify the
suspect and a case shall be opened. Non-prosecution decision
shows that the prosecutor does decide not to bring a case. It is
possible to appeal this decision. Victim or those suffered from
the offence can apply to closest Aggravated Penal Court to
abolish the decision of the prosecutor to open a case against
the person concerned. The decision given by the Aggravated Penal
Court upon appeal is final. It is not possible to challenge this
The case is opened, What happens now?
You will be tried as an accused if a case has been opened
against you. The indictment prepared by the prosecutor contain
the crime attributed to you and evidence indicating that you
have committed the crime. You can present every facts refuting
the evedence presented. You can request to bring the documents
which public authorities hold. You can identify witnesses and
request for their testimony. You can present the court questions
to be asked to those who testify against you. Your testimony
about progress of the facts is one of the important tool before
the court. Since criminal justice is based on judicial
discreation, your oral defence is important. However you can
present the court your arguments and evidence in written as well.
Your appearance before the court is very important. If you have
a lawyer and it is difficult for you to attend every trial, you
can request from the court to be immune from trial in order to
abstain from attending the trials