Criminal Procedure Code (1997) (excerpt)

Criminal Procedure Code

Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia No.15/97


Chapter XVI


Article 150

(1) Investigation is initiated against a person when there is justified suspicion that he has committed crime.

(2) Within the investigation will be collected evidence and data necessary to be decided whether a prosecution act will be initiated or the procedure will be interrupted, evidence for which there is a danger not to be repeated at the trial or that their exhibition would be performed with difficulties, as well as other evidence which can be useful for the procedure for whose performance, considering the circumstances in the case is shown to be positive.


Article 170

If the investigating judge needs assistance from the police (criminological, technical and similar) or from other state agencies in connection with the conduct of the investigation, they are obliged to assist him on his request. The investigating judge may request assistance from legal persons, if it is necessary for the completion of the investigation which does not allow any cancelling.


Chapter XVIII

Investigating Acts

1. Search of Residence and Person

Article 198

(1) Search of residence and other premises of the accused or of other persons may be initiated if it is likely that with the search the accused will be caught or traces of the crime or objects significant for the criminal procedure will be found.

(2) Search of persons may be undertaken when it is likely that traces or objects important for the criminal procedure will be found.

Article 199

(1) The search is ordered by the court with a written elaborated order which explicitly contains the place and the person to be searched as well as the objects which are searched for or confiscated from the person.

(2) The search warrant is shown before the search to the person whose home or himself will be searched. Before the search, the person to whom the search warrant refers will be asked voluntarily to turn in the person i.e. give away objects which are searched for.

(3) If an armed resistance is presumed or it is suspected that a severe crime is conducted by a group or organisation or if the search is to be performed in public premises, the search may be performed suddenly or it could be performed without previous showing of the search warrant or without a previous request for turning over of the person or giving away the objects.

(4) The search is performed during the day. It may continue at night if it has started at daylight but has not been completed. With exception, the search may be conducted at night if there is a danger of cancelling.

Article 200

(1) The householder or the holder of other premises will be summoned to be present at the search, and if he is absent his authorised representative will be summoned or some of his adult members of the family or neighbours.

(2) Locked premises, furniture and other objects will be opened forcefully only if their holder i.e. owner is absent or does not agree to open them voluntarily. While opening, unnecessary damage will be avoided.

(3) During the search of premises or persons two adult citizens will be present as witnesses. The search of a female is performed only by a female officer, and the witnesses are also female. Before the beginning of the search the witnesses will be warned to pay attention to the performance of the search and they will be also reminded of their right, before signing the minutes for the search to write in their objections if they consider that the contents of the minutes is incorrect.

(4) The search may be performed without the presence of witnesses if their presence is not possible immediately to be provided and there is a danger of cancelling. The reasons for a search without the presence of witnesses must be written in the minutes.

(5) When the search is conducted in the premises of state agencies, institutions which perform authorisations or legal persons, their chiefs will be called to be present during the search.

(6) Searches and inspections of army buildings will be performed on the approval of the competent army non- commissioned officer.

(7) The search of premises and persons is to be performed carefully without disturbing the order of the residence.

(8) During the performance of the search only those objects and identity cards i.e. documents will be temporarily confiscated which are in connection with the aim of the search in that particular case.

(9) If during the search of premises and persons objects are found which have no connection with the crime for which the search is intended but which point to another crime which is to be prosecuted ex officio, the object will be confiscated and a receipt for the confiscation will be immediately issued. The public prosecutor will be immediately informed in order a criminal procedure to be initiated. These objects will be immediately returned if the public prosecutor finds that there are no grounds for initiation of a criminal procedure and there is no other lawful ground according to which those objects should be confiscated.

Article 201

(1) For each search of residences or persons a minutes will be constructed. The minutes is signed by the official conducting the search, the person at whose place or on whom the search is conducted and the persons whose presence is compulsory.

(2) In the minutes there will be included and notified correctly the objects and documents which have been confiscated.

Article 202

(1) The authorized officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs may without a search warrant enter a residence or other premises if the person who, according to the court order is to be detained or forcefully apprehended is there.

(2) The authorized officials of the police may without a search warrant and without the presence of witnesses perform a search of a person while conducting the court order for apprehension or if while arresting him it is suspected that the person possesses guns or tools for attack or if it is suspected that he will throw away, hide or destroy the objects which are to be confiscated from him as evidence in the criminal procedure.

2. Temporary confiscation of objects

Article 203

(1) Objects which according to the Criminal Code are to be confiscated or may serve as evidence in the criminal procedure will be confiscated temporarily and entrusted to the court to guard or in another manner their guarding will be secured.

(2) The person who holds such objects is obliged to give them to the court on its request. The person who refuses to give away the objects may be punished with a fine penalty encompassed within Article 74, paragraph 1 of this Code and in case of further resistance he may be detained. The detention lasts until the objects are given away or until the criminal procedure is completed and it may last for at most 30 days. It will be proceeded in the same manner with the official or the responsible person of a state agency, institution which perform authorizations or other legal persons.

(3) For an appeal against the decision according to which a fine penalty or detention is pronounced, the Chamber decides (Article 22, paragraph 6). The appeal against the decision for detention does not keep from execution of the decision.

(4) The authorized officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs may confiscate the objets listed in paragraph 1 of this Article when they act according to Articles 142 and 147 of this Code or when they execute a court order.

(5) At the confiscation of the objects the locality where they are found will be notified and they will be described and if necessary the certifying of their identity will be secured in another way. A receipt will be issued about the confiscated objects.

Article 204

(1) The state agencies may disallow showing or issuing records or other documents if they consider that the issuing of their contents would be harmful for the interests of the state. If the showing or issuing records or other documents is not allowed, the Chamber reaches the final decision (Article 22, paragraph 6).

(2) Legal persons may request the data which refer to their work not to be issued.

Article 205

(1) If it is performed a temporary confiscation of records which may serve as evidence they will be registered. If it is not possible, the records will be wrapped in a case and will be sealed. The owner of the records may put his seal on the case.

(2) The person to whom the confiscated records belong will be invited to attend the opening of the case. If he does not reply the invitation or is absent the case will be opened, the records will be checked and signed in his absence.

(3) During the checking of the records it must be secured that unauthorized persons would not have an access to their contents.

Article 206

(1) The investigating judge may give an order to the legal persons in the field of post, telegraph and other traffic, with the receipt for the received to keep and to give to the investigating judge the letters, telegrams and other parcels addressed to the accused or which he addresses if there are circumstances according to which it could be expected that these parcels may serve as evidence in the procedure.

(2) The letters and other parcels are opened by the investigating judge in presence of two witnesses. While opening it will be considered the seals not to be damaged and the case and address will be kept. A minutes will be constructed for the opening.

(3) If the interest of the procedure allows, the contents of the parcel may be announced fully or partially to the accused i.e. the person to whom it is addressed and it may be handed over to him. If the accused is absent the parcel will be announced or given to some of his relatives and if not, it will be handed to the expediter if that does not inflict the interests of the procedure.

Article 207

The objects which during the procedure are temporarily confiscated will be returned to the owner i.e. holder if the procedure ceases and there are no reasons for their confiscation (Article 485).

3. Processing with suspicious objects

Article 208

(1) If a strange object is found with the accused, and the person who owns it is not known, the body conducting the procedure will describe the object and the description will be announced on the board at the body of that municipality in which region the accused lives or the crime was committed. In the announcement, the owner of the object will be invited to reply within one year from the day of the announcement and if not, the object will be sold. The money from the sale of the object are contributed to the budget.

(2) If they are objects of considerable value the announcement may be performed in the daily newspapers.

(3) If the object is liable to damaging or its keeping is connected with significant expenses, it will be sold according to provisions valid for the executing procedure and the money will be kept as a court deposit.

(4) According to the provision of paragraph 3 of this Article it will be proceeded in the same manner when the object belongs to an escaped person or to an unknown criminal.

Article 209

(1) If within a year no one replies for the object or for the money gained from the sold object, a decision will be brought the object to become a state property i.e. the money to be contributed to the budget.

(2) The owner of the object has a right through a dispute to request for the return of the object or of the money gained with the sale of the object. The obsolescence of this right runs since the day of the announcement.

4. Examination of the accused

Article 210

(1) When the accused is questioned for the first time, he will be asked for his name, nickname if he has so, names of his parents, maiden name of his mother, his address, his date of birth, his nationality and citizenship, his occupation, his family status, if he is literate, which schools he finished, if he has and where and when he served the army, i.e. if he has a rank a reserve junior officer, officer or army officer, if he is registered in the army register and in which competent body of defence, if he was decorated, what is his property condition, if he has been where and why he was convicted, if he has or when he served the verdict, if there is a procedure for another crime against him, and if he is a minor who his legal representative is. The accused will be instructed that he is obliged to answer the summons and to announce each alternation of his address or intention to alter his residence immediately and he will be warned of the consequences if he does not act so.

(2) Afterwards the accused will be informed of his accusation and for the grounds of suspicion against him and he will be asked what he has to state in his defence and he will be informed that he is not obliged to speak for his defence nor answer the questions.

(3) The accused is examined orally. During the examination the accused may be allowed to use his own notes.

(4) During the examination the accused is to be allowed to continue his elaboration in order to clarify all circumstances which are impose on him and to state all facts which serve on behalf of his defence.

(5) When the accused has finished his statement, if necessary he will be asked questions in order the gaps to be supplemented and the oppositions or any unclearness in his statement to be eliminated.

(6) The examination must be conducted in the manner that the personality of the accused is fully respected.

(7) Against the accused must not be used force, threats or other similar means (Article 251, paragraph 2) in order to extort his statement or confession.

(8) The accused may be examined in absence of a counsel only if he has explicitly denied his right, and his defence is not compulsory or if within 24 hours from the moment he has been instructed of his right (Article 63, paragraph 2) he does not provide himself a counsel unless in case of a compulsory defence.

(9) If it has been proceeded contrary to the provisions of paragraphs 7 and 8 of this Article or if the statement of the accused under paragraph 8 of this Article for the presence of a counsel is not notified in the minutes, upon the statement of the accused a court decision cannot be based.

Article 211

(1) The questions for the accused are to be set clearly and comprehensibly for him to understand them fully. In the examination, it must not be approached as if the accused has confessed something which he has not, nor any questions may be set in the way that the answers are already contained in them. Deceit must not be used against the accused in order to extort his statement or confession.

(2) If the latter statements of the accused differ from the former ones, especially if the accused revokes his confession, he will be asked to state his reasons for the different statements i.e. why he revokes his confession.

Article 212

(1) The accused may be confronted with a witness or another accused if their statements disagree in respect of significant facts.

(2) The confronted accused will be examined separately for each circumstance in which their statements does not mutually agree and their answer will be included in the minutes.

Article 213

The objects which are in connection with the crime or serve as evidence will be shown to the accused for recognition after he has previously described them. If these objects cannot be brought on the very place, the accused may be escorted to the place where they are.

Article 214

(1) The statement of the accused is inserted in the minutes in a narrative form and the questions and answers will be inserted in the minutes only if it is necessary.

(2) It will be allowed the accused to pronounce his statement himself for the minutes.

Article 215

The court is obliged apart from the confession of the accused to collect other evidence. If the confession is clear and completed with evidence, the further collection of evidence will be undertaken only on the proposal of the prosecutor.

Article 216

(1) The examination of the accused will be performed by an assistance of an interpreter in cases proscribed in this Code.

(2) If the accused is deaf, he will receive his questions in writing, and if he is dumb, he will answer in writing. If the examination cannot be performed in this manner, a person who can communicate with the accused functioning as an interpreter will be called.

(3) If the interpreter is not under oath, he will take an oath that he will translate originally and faithfully the questions directed to the accused and his statements.

(4) Provisions of this Code referring to the experts are accordingly applied to the interpreters.