Cover Osteuropa 9-10/2017

In Osteuropa 9-10/2017

In dubio pro quo?
Prosecution procedures in Russia and Germany

Maria Shklyaruk

Deutsche Fassung


In Russia, almost all prosecutions lead to a conviction. Acquittals are in effect precluded. A comparison with Germany shows why this is the case. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the principle applies that in cases that are not clear cut, the accused enjoys the benefit of the doubt. In Russia, the reverse is true. Instead of halting proceedings if there is insufficient evidence and acquitting the accused, the indictment remains in force for all authorities throughout the legal process. In effect, it is therefore not the judges who make the final decision, but the investigators from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Two-thirds of these investigators are women. If a procedure initiated by them ends with an acquittal, they are likely to be accused of failure to perform their duty.

(Osteuropa 9-10/2017, pp. 51–58)