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What tasks does the OAG perform?
Switzerland's federal prosecution agency, the OAG, conducts criminal investigations into certain criminal offences.
These offences include crimes involving the use of explosives and counterfeit currency, espionage and acts of treason, illegal trading in war material and nuclear goods, international organised crime and white-collar crime and international money laundering and corruption. Also included in the catalogue are offences committed by federal officials, crimes committed on board aircraft, and offences against people protected by international law and against diplomatic missions.
The OAG is responsible for the prosecution of the above-mentioned offences in the federal courts.
The OAG is also in charge of executing requests by foreign judicial authorities for mutual assistance with the investigation and adjudication of such offences.
I would like to file a criminal complaint with the OAG. How do I proceed?
A complaint made to the OAG must fulfil a number of basic requirements in order for it to be accepted:
- The offence mentioned in the complaint must fall within the jurisdiction of the OAG (cf. legal basis for OAG jurisdiction in criminal prosecution).
The complaint must contain the following elements:
- A chronological list of the relevant facts.
It is not the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies to search for elements of criminal conduct in the documentation it receives.
- Full details of the parties suspected of criminal conduct, together with the relevant circumstances and dates.
- A complete description and, if possible, submission of the evidence (original documents or photocopies).
- Submission of previous correspondence, if any, regarding the case in question.
- If available, names and details of witnesses (full names, addresses and telephone numbers).
- An account of possible detrimental consequences that the person filing the complaint anticipates for him/herself.
Who does the OAG work with at an international and intercantonal level?
As regards intercantonal and international cooperation, the OAG, besides working with cantonal and international agencies in the field of mutual assistance, maintains contacts with various agencies, institutions and organisations in Switzerland and abroad.
Maintaining close relations to law enforcement partners, participating in information exchange, appreciating the similarities and differences of foreign legal systems and understanding political and special objectives: these are the elements that help facilitate and accelerate proceedings.
Besides close cooperation with the Federal Criminal Police, direct contact with partner law enforcement agencies in the respective countries abroad and in the Swiss cantons is essential for conducting successful proceedings. Moreover, close cooperation between the judicial authorities in Switzerland and abroad facilitates the course of proceedings and helps prevent misunderstandings.
Contacts abroad - either on a one-to-one basis or via international organisations - are maintained with justice ministries, administrative and judicial authorities, diplomatic missions or police forces.
Contacts that lead to the signing of a cooperation agreement illustrate the determination of two law enforcement agencies to work closely together in an uncomplicated and effective manner.
In addition to operative cooperation, contacts are also maintained with political and professional bodies. These include the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Justice and Police, the Conference of Cantonal Police Commanders, the Conference of Swiss Prosecution Authorities and the Conference of Prosecution Authorities of French-Speaking Switzerland and the Ticino.
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