a form of criminal prosecution initiated on the complaint of the victim or his representative. In contrast to cases prosecuted by private accusation, such a case is not subject to termination in the event that the victim is reconciled with the accused or renounces the complaint (seePRIVATE ACCUSATION).
In Soviet law, cases of rape without aggravating circumstances and of the violation of authors’ or inventors’ rights are prosecuted only by private-public accusation. Such cases are investigated and tried under the general procedure for criminal trials, as established in the codes of criminal procedure. The victim himself does not support the accusation since a procurator takes part in the court hearing; thus, it is a private accusation that is publicly supported.
In exceptional instances—if a case involving the violation of authors’ or inventors’ rights 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.