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in criminal procedure, the elucidation of those circumstances of a criminal case necessary for arriving at the correct decision. Soviet law distinguishes between preliminary and judicial investigation.
Preliminary investigation, a basic form of inquiry, is an important stage in a criminal case. Begun after the initiation of the criminal case, it includes investigatory actions for the purpose of collecting and verifying evidence, presentation of the charges, the selection of a measure of restraint, actions to protect the legal interests of the accused, the victim, the plaintiff, and other participants in the trial, and actions to remove the causes and conditions contributing to the crime. The preliminary investigation comes to an end, within a period established by law, with the drawing up of a bill of indictment or a decree on termination of the case (see also).
Judicial investigation is a stage in the trial, during which a court of the first instance, in formal judicial session, makes a direct investigation of the evidence; that is, it verifies the evidence gathered in the preliminary investigation and inquiry and gathers and verifies additional evidence. Judicial investigation is autonomous; it is a multifaceted and objective analysis—with direct, open, and oral proceedings and equal procedural rights for all participants in the trial—of all the case’s circumstances significant for arriving at a just and legal decision.