VIETNAMESE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE - Part Two - INSTITUTION, INVESTIGATION - CHAPTER IX GENERAL PROVISIONS ON INVESTIGATION








	
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PART TWO INSTITUTION, INVESTIGATION OF CRIMINAL CASES AND DECISION ON PROSECUTION
CHAPTER VIII INSTITUTION OF CRIMINAL CASES
Article 100.- Grounds for instituting criminal cases
Article 101.- Denunciations and information on offenses
Article 102.- Confession by offenders
Article 103.- Tasks of settling offence denunciations and information and proposals for institution of criminal cases
Article 104.- Decisions to institute criminal cases
Article 105.- Institution of criminal cases at victims’ requests
Article 106.- Change or supplementation of decisions to institute criminal cases
Article 107.- Grounds for not instituting criminal cases
Article 108.- Decisions not to institute criminal cases
Article 109.- Powers and responsibilities of procuracies in instituting criminal cases
CHAPTER IX GENERAL PROVISIONS ON INVESTIGATION
Article 110.- Investigating competence
Article 111.- Investigating powers of the border guard, customs, ranger, the coast guard forces and other agencies of the People’s Police or the People’s Army, which are assigned to conduct a number of investigating activities
Article 112.- Tasks and powers of procuracies in exercising the right to prosecute at the investigating stage
Article 113.- Tasks and powers of procuracies in supervising investigation
Article 114.- Responsibilities of investigating bodies in complying with requests and decisions of procuracies
Article 115.- Responsibilities to comply with decisions and requests of investigating bodies and procuracies
Article 116.- Transfer of cases for investigation according to competence
Article 117.- Joinder or separation of criminal cases for investigation
Article 118.- Entrustment of investigation
Article 119.- Investigation time limits
Article 120.- Time limits of temporary detention for investigation
Article 121.- Time limits for investigation resumption, additional investigation and re-investigation
Article 122.- Settlement of requests of participants in the procedure
Article 123.- Participation by witnesses
Article 124.- Non-disclosure of investigation secrets
Article 125.- Investigation minutes
CHAPTER X INITIATION OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE ACCUSED AND INTERROGATION OF THE ACCUSED
Article 126.- Initiation of criminal proceedings against the accused
Article 127.- Change or supplementation of decisions to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused
Article 128.- Suspension of the accused from their current positions
Article 129.- Summoning of the accused
Article 130.- Escort of the accused on bail
Article 131.- Interrogation of the accused
Article 132.- Minutes of interrogation of the accused
CHAPTER XI TAKING STATEMENTS OF WITNESSES, VICTIMS, CIVIL PLAINTIFFS, CIVIL DEFENDANTS, PERSONS WITH INTERESTS AND OBLIGATIONS RELATED TO THE CASES, CONFRONTATION AND IDENTIFICATION
Article 133.- Summoning of witnesses
Article 134.- Escort of witnesses
Article 135.- Taking statements of witnesses
Article 136.- Minutes of witnesses’ statements
Article 137.- Summoning, and taking statements of, victims, civil plaintiffs, civil defendants, persons with interests and obligations related to the cases
Article 138.- Confrontation
Article 139.- Identification
CHAPTER XII SEARCH, FORFEITURE, SEIZURE, DISTRAINMENT OF PROPERTY
Article 140.- Grounds for body search, search of residences, working places, premises, objects, correspondence, telegraphs, postal parcels and matters
Article 141.- Competence to issue search warrants
Article 142.- Body search
Article 143.- Search of residences, working places, premises
Article 144.- Forfeiture of correspondence, telegraphs, postal parcels and matters at post offices
Article 145.- Seizure of objects and documents during a search
Article 146.- Distrainment of property
Article 147.- Responsibility to preserve objects, documents, correspondence, telegraphs, postal parcels and/or matters which are forfeited, seized or sealed up
Article 148.- Minutes of search, forfeiture, seizure of objects, documents, correspondence, telegraphs, postal parcels and matters
Article 149.- Responsibilities of issuers and executors of warrants to search, distrain property, forfeit or seize objects, documents, correspondence, telegraphs, postal parcels and matters
CHAPTER XIII SCENE EXAMINATION, AUTOPSY, EXAMINATION OF TRACES ON HUMAN BODIES, INVESTIGATION EXPERIMENTS, EXPERTISE
Article 150.- Scene examination
Article 151.- Autopsy
Article 152.- Examination of traces on human bodies
Article 153.- Investigation experiments
Article 154.- Minutes of scene examination, autopsy, examination of traces on human bodies and investigation experiments
Article 155.- Solicitation of expertise
Article 156.- Conducting expertise
Article 157.- Contents of expertise conclusions
Article 158.- Rights of the accused and participants in the procedure with regard to expertise conclusions
Article 159.- Additional expertise or re-expertise
CHAPTER XIV SUSPENSION OF INVESTIGATION AND TERMINATION OF INVESTIGATION
Article 160.- Suspension of investigation
Article 161.- Pursuit of the accused
Article 162.- Termination of investigation
Article 163.- Proposals for prosecution
Article 164.- Investigation cessation
Article 165.- Investigation resumption
CHAPTER XV PROSECUTION DECISION
Article 166.- Time limit for prosecution decision
Article 167.- Indictments
Article 168.- Return of files for additional investigation
Article 169.- Cessation or suspension of cases

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CHAPTER IX GENERAL PROVISIONS ON INVESTIGATION


Article 110.- Investigating competence

1. Investigating bodies of the People’s Police shall investigate all kinds of offenses, excluding ones falling under the investigating competence of the investigating bodies in the People’s Army or the investigating body of the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

2. Investigating bodies of the People’s Army shall investigate offenses falling under the adjudicating competence of military courts.

3. The investigating body of the Supreme People’s Procuracy shall investigate some kinds of offenses of infringing upon judicial activities, which are committed by officials of judicial bodies.

4. Investigating bodies shall have competence to investigate criminal cases of offenses occurring in their respective geographical areas. Where the places where the offenses were committed are unknown, the investigation thereof shall fall under the competence of the investigating bodies of the places where the offenses were detected or where the accused reside or are arrested.

The district-level investigating bodies, regional military investigating bodies shall investigate criminal cases of offenses falling under the adjudicating competence of the district-level people’s courts or regional military courts; the provincial-level and military zone-level military investigating bodies shall investigate criminal cases of offenses falling under the adjudicating competence of the provincial-level people’s courts or military zone-level military courts or cases falling under the investigating competence of the subordinate investigating bodies, which they deem it necessary to directly investigate. The central investigating body shall investigate criminal cases of especially serious and complicated offenses falling under the investigating competence of the provincial-level investigating bodies or military zone-level military investigating bodies, which they deem it necessary to directly investigate such cases.

5. The apparatus organization and specific competence of investigating bodies shall be provided for by the National Assembly Standing Committee.


Article 111.- Investigating powers of the border guard, customs, ranger, the coast guard forces and other agencies of the People’s Police or the People’s Army, which are assigned to conduct a number of investigating activities

1. When detecting criminal acts for which penal liability must be examined in their respective management domains, the border guard, customs, ranger and the coast guard forces shall have the competence:

a/ For less serious offenses committed by offenders who are caught red-handed , evidences and the offenders’ personal details are clear, to issue decisions to institute criminal cases and initiate criminal proceedings against the accused, conduct investigation and transfer the case files to the competent procuracies within twenty days after the date of issuing the decisions to institute criminal cases;

b/ For serious offenses, very serious offenses or especially serious offenses or less serious but complicated offenses, to issue decisions to institute criminal cases, conduct initial investigating activities and transfer the case files to competent investigating bodies within seven days after issuing the decisions to institute criminal cases.

2. In the People’s Police and the People’s Army, apart from the investigating bodies prescribed in Article 110 of this Code, if other agencies assigned to conduct a number of investigating activities detect cases showing criminal signs while performing their tasks, they shall have the right to institute criminal cases, conduct initial investigating activities and transfer the case files to competent investigating bodies within seven days after issuing the decisions to institute criminal cases.

3. When conducting investigating activities, the border guard, customs, ranger, the coast guard force, and other agencies of the People’s Police or the People’s Army, which are assigned to conduct a number of investigating activities, must, within the scope of their respective procedural competence, comply with the procedural principles, order and proceedings for investigating activities as prescribed by this Code. The procuracies shall have to supervise the law observance by these agencies in their investigating activities.

4. The specific tasks and powers of the border guard, customs, ranger, the coast guard force, and other agencies of the People’s Police or the People’s Army, which are assigned to conduct a number of investigating activities, in investigating activities shall be prescribed by the National Assembly Standing Committee.


Article 112.- Tasks and powers of procuracies in exercising the right to prosecute at the investigating stage

When exercising the right to prosecute at the investigating stage, the procuracies shall have the following tasks and powers:

1. To institute criminal cases, to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused; to request the investigating bodies to institute criminal cases or change the decisions to institute criminal cases or initiate criminal proceedings against the accused in accordance with this Code;

2. To set investigation requirements and request the investigating bodies to conduct investigation; when deeming it necessary, to directly conduct a number of investigating activities under the provisions of this Code;

3. To request the heads of investigating bodies to change investigators under the provisions of this Code; if the investigators’ acts show criminal signs, to institute criminal cases against such investigators;

4. To decide to apply, change or cancel arrest, custody, temporary detention and other deterrent measures; to decide to approve or disapprove the decisions of investigating bodies under the provisions of this Code. In case of disapproval, the disapproval decision must clearly state the reasons therefor;

5. To cancel ungrounded and illegal decisions of investigating bodies; to request the investigating bodies to pursue the accused;

6. To decide to prosecute the accused; to decide to cease or suspend criminal cases.


Article 113.- Tasks and powers of procuracies in supervising investigation

In performing the work of supervising the investigation, the procuracies shall have the following tasks and powers:

1. To supervise the institution of criminal cases, supervise investigating activities and the compilation of case files by investigating bodies;

2. To supervise the law observance by participants in the proceeding;

3. To settle disputes over the investigating competence;

4. To request the investigating bodies to remedy law violations in their investigating activities; to request investigating bodies to supply necessary documents on the law violations committed by investigators; to request the heads of investigating bodies to strictly handle the investigators who have committed law violations while conducting investigation;

5. To propose concerned agencies and organizations to apply measures to preclude offenses and law violations.


Article 114.- Responsibilities of investigating bodies in complying with requests and decisions of procuracies

Investigating bodies shall have to comply with the requests and decisions of procuracies. For requests and decisions prescribed at Points 4, 5 and 6, Article 112 of this Code, if disagreeing with them, the investigating bodies shall still have to execute them but have the right to make proposals to the immediate superior procuracies. Within twenty days after receiving the proposals of the investigating bodies, the immediate superior procuracies must consider and settle them and notify the settlement results to the proposing bodies.


Article 115.- Responsibilities to comply with decisions and requests of investigating bodies and procuracies

Decisions and requests of investigating bodies and procuracies at the stage of investigating criminal cases must be strictly complied with by agencies, organizations and citizens.


Article 116.- Transfer of cases for investigation according to competence

Where cases do not fall under their investigating competence, the investigating bodies shall propose the procuracies of the same level to issue decisions to transfer the cases to the competent investigating bodies for further investigation; within three days after receiving such proposals of the investigating bodies, the procuracies of the same level shall have to issue decisions to transfer the cases.

The transfer of cases outside the territories of provinces or centrally run cities or military zones shall be decided by the provincial-level procuracies or military zone-level military procuracies.


Article 117.- Joinder or separation of criminal cases for investigation

1. Investigating bodies may join in the same case for investigation several offenses committed by a person, several persons together committing an offense or offenders and other persons harboring or not denouncing the offenses as prescribed in Article 313 and Article 314 of the Penal Code.

2. Investigating bodies may only separate cases in case of extreme necessity when the investigation of all offenses cannot be completed early, provided that such separation would not affect the determination of the objective and comprehensive truths of the cases.

3. Decisions to join or separate criminal cases must be sent to the procuracies of the same level within 24 hours after their issuance.


Article 118.- Entrustment of investigation

In case of necessity, investigating bodies may entrust other investigating bodies to conduct a number of investigating activities. Investigation entrustment decisions must clearly state the specific requirements. The entrusted investigating bodies shall have to perform fully the entrusted work within the time limits set by the entrusting investigating bodies.


Article 119.- Investigation time limits

1. The time limits for investigating criminal cases shall not exceed two months for less serious offenses, not exceed three months for serious offenses, not exceed four months for very serious offenses and especially serious offenses, counting from the time of institution of criminal cases to the time of termination of investigation.

2. In case of necessity to prolong investigation due to the complexity of the cases, at least ten days before the expiry of the investigation time limit, the investigating bodies must request in writing the procuracies to extend the investigation time limit.

The extension of investigation time limits is prescribed as follows:

a/ For less serious offenses, the investigation time limit may be extended once for no more than two months;

b/ For serious offenses, the investigation time limit may be extended twice, for no more than three months for the first time and no more than two months for the second time;

c/ For very serious offenses, the investigation time limit may be extended twice, for no more than four months each;

d/ For especially serious offenses, the investigation time limit may be extended three times, for no more than four months each.

3. The competence of procuracies to extend investigation time limits is prescribed as follows:

a/ For less serious offenses, the district-level people’s procuracies or regional Military Procuracies shall extend investigation time limits. Where the cases are received for investigation at the provincial or military-zone level, the provincial-level people’s procuracies or military zone-level military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits;

b/ For serious offenses, the district-level people’s procuracies or regional military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits for the first time and the second time. Where the cases are received for investigation at the provincial or military-zone level, the provincial-level people’s procuracies or military zone level military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits for the first time and the second time;

c/ For very serious offenses, the district-level people’s procuracies or regional military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits for the first time; the provincial-level people’s procuracies or the military zone-level military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits for the second time. Where the cases are received for investigation at the provincial or military-zone level, the provincial-level people’s procuracies or military zone-level military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits for the first time and the second time.

d/ For especially serious offenses, the provincial-level people’s procuracies or military zone level military procuracies shall extend investigation time limits for the first time and the second time; the Supreme People’s Procuracy or the central Military Procuracy shall extend investigation time limits for the third time

4. Where the cases are received for investigation at the central level, the extension of investigation time limits shall fall under the competence of the Supreme People’s Procuracy or the central Military Procuracy.

5. For especially serious offenses for which the extended investigation time limit has expired but, due to the very complicated nature of the cases, the investigation cannot be completed, the Chairman of the Supreme People’s Procuracy may extend the investigation time limit once for no more than four months.

For the offenses of infringing upon national security, the Chairman of the Supreme People’s Procuracy shall have the right to extend the investigation time limit once more for no more than four months.

6. Upon the expiry of the extended investigation time limit but it is impossible to prove the accused to have committed the offenses, the investigating bodies must issue decisions to cease the investigation.


Article 120.- Time limits of temporary detention for investigation

1. The time limit of temporary detention of the accused for investigation shall not exceed two months for less serious offenses, not exceed three months for serious offenses, not exceed four months for very serious offenses and especially serious offenses.

2. Where the cases involving many complicated circumstances and it is deemed that the investigation should take a longer time and there exists no ground to change or cancel the temporary detention measure, at least ten days before the temporary detention time limit expires, the investigating bodies must send written requests to the procuracies to extend the such temporary detention time limit.

The extension of temporary detention time limits is prescribed as follows:

a/ For less serious offenses, the temporary detention time limit may be extended once for no more than one month;

b/ For serious offenses, the temporary detention time limit may be extended twice, for no more than two months for the first time and no more than one month for the second time;

c/ For very serious offenses, the temporary detention time limit may be extended twice, for no more than three months for the first time and no more than two months for the second time;

d/ For especially serious offenses, the temporary detention time limit may be extended three times, for no more than four months each.

3. The competence of procuracies to extend temporary detention time limits is prescribed as follows:

a/ The district-level people’s procuracies or regional military procuracies shall have the right to extend temporary detention time limits for less serious offenses, extend temporary detention time limits for the first time for serious offenses and very serious offenses. Where the cases are received for investigation at the provincial or military-zone level, the provincial-level people’s procuracies or military zone-level military procuracies shall have the right to extend temporary detention time limits for less serious offenses, extend temporary detention time limits for the first time for serious offenses, very serious offenses and especially serious offenses.

b/ In cases where the first-time extended temporary detention time limits prescribed at Point a of this Clause have expired but the investigation cannot be completed and there emerges no ground to change or cancel the temporary detention measure, the district-level people’s procuracies or the regional military procuracies may extend the temporary detention time limits for the second time for serious offenses. The provincial-level people’s procuracies or military zone-level military procuracies may extend temporary detention time limits for the second time for serious offenses, very serious offenses or especially serious offenses.

4. Where the cases are received for investigation at the central level, the extension of temporary detention time limits shall fall under the competence of the Supreme People’s Procuracy or the Central Military Procuracy.

5. For especially serious offenses, in cases where the second-time extended temporary detention time limits prescribed at Point b, Clause 3 of this Article have expired and the cases involve many very complicated circumstances while there emerges no ground to change or cancel the temporary detention measure, the Chairman of the Supreme People’s Procuracy may extend the temporary detention time limits for the third time.

In case of necessity for offenses of infringing upon national security, the Chairman of the Supreme People’s Procuracy may extend the temporary detention time limits once more for no more than four months.

6. When keeping persons in temporary detention, if deeming it unnecessary to continue the temporary detention, the investigating bodies must propose in time the procuracies to cancel the temporary detention in order to release the detainees or shall, if deeming it necessary, apply other deterrent measures.

Upon the expiry of the temporary detention time limits, the temporary detention order issuers must release the detainees or shall, if deeming it necessary, apply other deterrent measures.


Article 121.- Time limits for investigation resumption, additional investigation and re-investigation

1. In case of investigation resumption prescribed in Article 165 of this Code, the time limit for further investigation shall not exceed two months for less serious offenses, serious offenses or very serious offenses, not exceed three months for especially serious offenses, counting from the time of issuance of the investigation resumption decisions to the time of termination of investigation.

Where it is necessary to extend investigation time limits due to the complicated nature of the cases, at least ten days before the investigation time limits expire, the investigating bodies must send written requests to the procuracies to extend the investigation time limits. The extension of investigation time limits is prescribed as follows:

a/ For serious offenses and very serious offenses, the investigation time limit may be extended once for no more than two months.

b/ For especially serious offenses, the investigation time limit may be extended once for no more than three months.

The competence to extend investigation time limits for each kind of offense shall comply with the provisions of Clause 3, Article 119 of this Code.

2. Where the cases are returned by the procuracies for additional investigation, the time limit for additional investigation shall not exceed two months; if the cases are returned by courts for additional investigation, the time limit for additional investigation shall not exceed one month. The procuracies or courts may only return the case files for additional investigation for no more than twice. The time limit for additional investigation shall be counted from the date the investigating bodies receive back the case files and investigation requests.

3. Where the cases are returned for re-investigation, the investigation time limit and the extension thereof shall comply with the general procedures prescribed in Article 119 of this Code.

The investigation time limit shall be counted from the time when the investigating bodies receive the files and re-investigation requests.

4. When resuming investigation, conducting additional investigation or re-investigation, the investigating bodies shall have the right to apply, change or cancel the deterrent measures under the provisions of this Code.

In cases where there exist grounds prescribed by this Code for temporary detention, the temporary detention time limit for investigation resumption or additional investigation must not exceed the time limit for investigation resumption or additional investigation prescribed in Clause 1 and Clause 2 of this Article.

The temporary detention time limit and the extension thereof in the cases of re-investigation shall comply with general procedures prescribed in Article 120 of this Code.


Article 122.- Settlement of requests of participants in the procedure

When participants in the procedure make requests on matters related to the cases, the investigating bodies or procuracies shall, within the scope of their respective responsibilities, settle their requests and inform them of the settlement results. If rejecting such requests, the investigating bodies or procuracies must reply, clearly stating the reasons therefor.

If disagreeing with the settlement results of the investigating bodies or procuracies, participants in the procedure shall have the right to complain. Complaints and the settlement thereof shall comply with the provisions of Chapter XXXV of this Code.


Article 123.- Participation by witnesses

Witnesses shall be invited to participate in investigating activities in the cases prescribed by this Code.

Witnesses shall have the duty to confirm the contents and results of the work performed by investigators in their presence and may present their personal opinions. These opinions shall be recorded in the minutes.


Article 124.- Non-disclosure of investigation secrets

In case of necessity to keep investigation secrets, investigators and procurators must notify in advance the participants in the procedure and witnesses not disclose investigation secrets. Such notification must be recorded in the minutes.

Investigators, procurators, participants in the procedure or witnesses who disclose investigation secrets shall, on a case-by-case basis, bear penal liability under Articles 263, 264, 286, 287, 327 and 328 of the Penal Code.


Article 125.- Investigation minutes

1. In conducting investigation, the minutes thereof must be made according to Article 95 of this Code.

Investigators who have made the minutes must read them to the participants in the procedure, explain to them the right to supplement and give comments on the minutes. Such comments shall be recorded in the minutes. Participants in the procedure and investigators shall all sign the minutes.

2. Where the participants in the procedure refuse to sign the minutes, such refusal must be written in the minutes with reasons therefor clearly stated.

3. If the participants in the procedure, for their physical or mental defects or other reasons, cannot sign the minutes, such reasons must be clearly recorded in the minutes and confirmed jointly by investigators and witnesses.

Illiterate persons may put their fingerprints on the minutes.

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