In Croatia, Public prosecution office takes cases against suspects.
Public prosecution office makes their decision independently of any other person or organization. The victim is not legally represented but during the case the victim will be asked if she is interested for financial compensation for the loss, and after suspect is sentenced and the judgment is final victim will be given their financial claim(if it s reasonable one).
But, there are some cases when Public prosecution office will take case against suspect only if victim lay specific proposal for prosecuting. This happens in cases such as criminal act of threat, and criminal act destruction or causing damage to other s property.
There are also several cases when only victim can take case against suspects. That are the cases of less significant criminal cases like petty theft, insult, slander etc.
Victim s rights in Croatia
Article 43. – 46. The Criminal Procedure Act
The bright on efficient psychological and other expert help and support of the organizations that help victims of crime according to the law. The right to participate in criminal procedure as victim Other rights according to law
According to other regulations victim of the criminal act with the maximum sentence of 5 or more years of jail has right:
– on free adviser before giving their testimony in criminal procedure and during filing of property claim if he has severe psychological and/or physical consequences of criminal act.
– compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage from state fond according to special law
– court, public prosecution, investigator or police are obliged while taking first action with victim inform him/her about their rights, and about the rights that he/she has as injured party
If the victim is child, then the victim also has:
– Right on proxy
– Confidentiality of personal data
– Exclusion of the public
Court, public, prosecutor, investigator and police must treat the child who is victim particularly considerately bearing in mind age, personality of the child and other circumstances of the case so that adverse effects for the child can be avoided.
In the case of sexual harassment the victim also has the right:
– before giving testimony right to talk to proxy, free of charges
– right to be interrogated in police and/or public prosecutor office to be interrogated by the person of the same gender
– right not to answer on the questions regarding the personal life of the victim
– right to be interrogated over video link according to the Criminal case law (act 292. Paragraph 4.)
– Confidentiality of personal data
– Exclusion of the public from the trial
Before giving the first testimony court, public prosecution, investigator or police are obliged to inform the victim about their rights.
…How to report a crime….
The first step is to personally contact local police or via phone on the number 192.
If you want to report the crime and if you, for some reason don t want to do it via police, you can also contact sentry public prosecutor office personally or via phone.
You can also contact victim support association White circle of Croatia, stationed in Split which will guide you through the entire procedure in English, give you all necessary information, contacts, and help you contact victim support organization from your country, help you arrange transfer back home, help you with money transfer.
…About legal procedure after the crime is reported….
After you report a crime the police will interrogate you about all the details regarding the case, and ask you about your property claim and if needed (if it s vital to act quickly) you will be escorted to Public prosecutor to give him your statement (more formal way of giving the statement).
After the investigation is completed public prosecutor will decide whether or not to prosecute.
In less serious crimes the police will bring a prosecution in the Magistrates Court without reporting public prosecutor about that.