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There are several stages that must be passed before a criminal case is adjudicated in the court. These stages include pre-investigation, investigation and prosecution. Pre-investigation is the initial action to look for and find whether there is a criminal offense that occurred. Meanwhile, an investigation is conducted to gather evidences to clarify the criminal offense and find the suspect. In the prosecution stage, the public prosecutor determines whether a case resulting from an investigation is complete or not to be submitted to the District Court for trial. In the process of pre-investigation and investigation, several parties who are suspected of being involved in criminal offense will be examined as witnesses.

Investigators who can carry out investigations include state police officers of the Republic of Indonesia or certain civil servant officials who are given special authority by the law to conduct investigations.

In carrying out their duties, investigators have the following authorities:

  1. to receive reports or complaints from a person about a criminal offense;
  2. to take the first action at the scene;
  3. to stop a suspect and check his/her identity;
  4. to make arrests, detention, search and seizure;
  5. to inspect and confiscate letters;
  6. to take fingerprints and photograph of a person;
  7. to summon people to be heard and examined as suspects or witnesses;
  8. to summon experts who are needed in connection with the examination of the case;
  9. to stop the investigation;
  10. to take other responsible actions according to the law.

Witness summons

A witness is a person who can provide information for the purposes of investigation, prosecution and trial of a criminal case which he/she hears, sees and experiences himself/herself. In an investigation, the investigator who conducts the examination is authorized to summon witnesses who are deemed necessary to be examined by a valid summons by stating the reasons for the summons clearly. The summon letter is in written form on the basis of the Police Report, report on the results of the investigation, and development of the results of the examination contained in the official report. The summons is signed by the investigator or the investigator’s supervisor as the investigator.

All types of notification or summons to the accused, witness or expert by the competent authority at all levels of examination are delivered no later than three days before the scheduled date.

A summons should be given to the person concerned along with the receipt at their residence or their last residence, but there are exceptions to the following conditions:

  1. the person concerned is not available, the summons is given through his/her family, legal counsel, neighborhood leader, or village head or another person who can guarantee that the summons will be immediately delivered to the person concerned; and
  2. the person being summoned is outside the jurisdiction of the police unit who summons, then the summons can be delivered through the police unit of the residence of the person concerned or sent by post/letter delivery service with proof of receipt of delivery.

In the event that the witness is an Indonesian citizen and is abroad, the summons is made through the representatives of the Republic of Indonesia at the domicile of the person who is being called. If the witness is a foreigner and is abroad, the summons is made through the representative of his/her country in Indonesia.

If the witness who is being summoned does not come without a valid reason, the investigator will make a second summons. If after the second summons the person still does not come, the investigator will issue a carrying order[1].

Witness Rights

Below are the rights of a witness, namely:

  1. to receive a valid summons and know the reason for the summons clearly[2]
  2. entitled to be examined at his residence if the witness gives a proper and reasonable reason that he cannot come to the investigator[3]
  3. entitled to provide information without pressure from anyone or in any form[4]
  4. Not signing the minutes by giving a reason[5]

What is the next step after the investigation is finished?

After the investigation is finished, the investigator must immediately submit the case dossier to the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor will then assess the results of the investigation and there are two possible outcomes that will be given:

1. Return the case dossier to the investigator to complete it

The public prosecutor will assess whether the investigation results are complete or not. If the public prosecutor believes that the results of the investigation are incomplete, the public prosecutor immediately returns the case dossier to the investigator accompanied by instructions to complete it. The investigator must then immediately conduct an additional investigation.

2. The investigation is finished

If within fourteen days the public prosecutor does not return the results of the investigation or if before the time limit has expired there has been a notification from the public prosecutor, then the investigation is deemed completed.

Hope this is useful.


[1] Article 27 (6) of Regulation of the Head of the Indonesian National Police No. 14 of 2012 concerning Management of Criminal Offense Investigations: “If in the second summon still not present in the specified time, the investigator issue the carrying order letter”.

[2] Article 112 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code: “Investigators who conduct examinations, stating the reasons for the summons clearly, is entitled to summon suspects and witnesses who are deemed necessary to be examined by a valid summon letter and considering the reasonable grace period between the receipt of the summon and the day a person is required to fulfill the summon”.

[3] Article 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code: “If a suspect or witness who is summoned gives a proper and reasonable reason that he cannot come to the investigator conducting the examination, the investigator comes to his residence”.

[4] Article 117 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code: “Statement of the suspect and or witnesses provided to the investigator is given without pressure from anyone and or in any form”.

[5] Article 118 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code: “In the event that the suspect and / or witness do not want to sign his signature, the investigator records the matter in the minutes stating the reason”.

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