a form of criminal prosecution initiated on the complaint of the victim or his representative and subject to termination in the event that the victim is reconciled with the accused (seePRIVATE-PUBLIC ACCUSATION). The accusation is supported by the victim himself; in this sense it is considered private.
In Soviet law, cases of crimes involving relatively little social danger are prosecuted by private accusation. Such crimes include defamation, insult, and the infliction of light bodily injury; complete lists of these crimes are provided in the codes of criminal procedure of the Union republics.
Where private accusation is involved, the case is initiated by a judge if the measures he has taken to effect a reconciliation between the victim and the accused have been unsuccessful. Reconciliation is possible until the court leaves for the conference room to decide on a verdict and sentence; under the codes of criminal procedure of the Lithuanian and Estonian soviet socialist republics, reconciliation is possible until the sentence enters into force.
In cases initiated on the complaint of the legal representative of a minor or of a person who is unable to defend his own interests because of physical or mental handicap, the proceedings may be terminated by reconciliation only if the victim’s legal representative gives his consent.
In certain instances—if a case has special social significance or if a victim is not in a position to defend his rights and legal interests owing to, for example, his helpless condition or his dependence on the accused—the procurator has the right to initiate proceedings even in the absence of a complaint by the victim. A case initiated by a procurator is not subject to termination in the event that the victim and the accused are reconciled; moreover, the victim is deprived of the right to support the accusation. If a case initiated by a procurator is tried in the absence of the procurator, however, then according to the codes of criminal procedure of some of the Union republics, the victim retains the right to support the accusation.
A procurator may also at any time enter a case initiated by a judge and support the accusation if such action is required for the protection of state or social interests. In such instances, the case may not be terminated in the event that the victim is reconciled with the accused; in accordance with the codes of criminal procedure of most of the Union republics, however, the victim retains the right to support the accusation.
Under the legislation of the RSFSR and of the Moldavian, Tadzhik, Armenian, Turkmen, Latvian, and Lithuanian soviet socialist republics, a case initiated by a judge is not subject to termination in the event of the reconciliation of the parties if a preliminary investigation or inquiry has been conducted.