Article 166.- Time limit for prosecution decision
1. Within twenty days for less serious offenses and serious offenses, within thirty days for very serious offenses and especially serious offenses, after receiving the case files and investigation conclusion reports, the procuracies must issue one of the following decisions:
a/ To prosecute the accused before court by an indictment.
b/ To return the file for additional investigation;
c/ To cease or suspend the case.
In case of necessity, the procuracy chairmen may extend the time limits but for no more than ten days for less serious offenses and serious offenses, no more than fifteen days for very serious offenses, and no more than thirty days for especially serious offenses.
Within three days after issuing one of the above-said decisions, the procuracies must notify the accused and defense counsels thereof; and hand the indictments, decisions to cease the cases or decisions to suspend the cases to the accused. Defense counsels may read the indictments, take notes and copy documents in the case files related to the defense under the provisions of law and put forward requests.
2. After receiving the case files, the procuracies shall be entitled to decide to apply, change or cancel deterrent measures or to request the investigating bodies to pursue the accused. The temporary detention duration must not exceed the time limit prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article.
3. In case of prosecution, within three days after issuing the prosecution decisions in the form of indictment, the procuracies must send the files and indictments to the courts.
4. For cases not falling under their prosecuting competence, the procuracies shall immediately issue decisions to transfer them to the competent procuracies.