in Soviet law, actions for the purpose of gathering and verifying evidence. Investigative actions are carried out by an investigator, an agency of inquiry, or a court under procedures set forth by law. They include interrogation, confrontation, the attachment and confiscation of correspondence, search, investigative viewing and the examination of real evidence, the presentation of persons and objects for identification, investigative experiment, and the attainment of samples for comparative study.
Investigative actions are regulated by law, which takes into account the special features of each type of evidence. As a general rule, investigative actions are carried out after the initiation of a criminal case, except for viewing the scene of the crime, which may be carried out prior to initiation. During inquiry and preliminary investigation, investigative actions are carried out by the agency that has jurisdiction over the case or that has been specially assigned to the case. Once a trial has begun, only the court hearing the case may carry out investigative actions. No one other than the investigator, the person making the inquiry, the procurator, and the court itself is legally empowered to carry out investigative actions.
Investigative actions carried out by the investigator, the person in charge of the inquiry, or the court should be distinguished from expert examinations and inspections, which are carried out by other persons by order of the court or investigator.