A prosecutor is a state official, whose task it is to see to it that the proper statutory sanction is attached to a criminal act. The prosecutors form an independent part of the Finnish judicial administration.
Most criminal matters (some 80,000 cases annually) are dealt with by the local prosecution units. The Office of the Prosecutor-General deals mainly with criminal cases with wider significance to society as a whole — a few dozen every year.
The investigation and clearing up of crime — pre-trial investigations — is a task for the police. Once an investigation is completed, the material compiled therein is sent to the prosecutor, who evaluates the charges in the matter. This means that the prosecutor evaluates, for each suspected person and each alleged act, whether a criminal offence has been committed and whether there is sufficient evidence for a prosecution to be warranted.
A charge must be brought, if there is a prima facie case against the suspect. If there is not enough evidence or if charges otherwise cannot be brought, e.g. owing to the statute of limitations, the prosecutor will make a decision not to prosecute.
These web pages are provided for purposes of information only. You are advised to obtain legal representation if you do not think that you can otherwise participate in criminal proceedings in a court of law.
The Ministry of Justice assumes no responsibility for possible errors or omissions on these web pages.
The agencies of judicial administration provide service in the Finnish and Swedish languages.
Updated on 31 December 2010