Judiciary plans to show how cases are moving online

The concept seems too good to be true.

The judiciary plans to announce today a new online procedure whereby individuals can file criminal complaints from the comfort of their homes.

For the first time with just a click, Internet users can file a complaint with the  Ministerio Público and follow the development of the case also via the Internet, said the judiciary in an announcement Monday. The Web page isHERE!

The judicial branch is getting space this morning in the Hotel Radisson to outline the proposal. It is called the  Proyecto Nacional de Fiscalías Electrónicas. The project has been under development for the last year, the judiciary said. The session today is mainly to promote the project.

The process is also supposed to speed up the time of investigation., The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and the 911 system also are involved.

Among those making the presentation will be Carlos María Jiménez, the acting fiscal general or chief prosecutor.

Now to make a complaint, individuals have to show up in person at the offices of the Judicial Investigating Organization. At the San José office those who have been a victim of a crime first present their case to a reception desk and then are directed to a prosecutor who determines if a crime has been committed and, if yes, which type of crime.

The judiciary’s emphasis on electronics goes further than just presenting a complaint. It is an effort to turn the entire prosecutor’s system into paperless offices. The system is being used in the Central Valley and Cartago now.

Among other advances, the electronic system keeps track of the suspects who are free but told to sign in every 15 days or every month. The system keeps a record of their compliance or lack thereof. This is something that had been done on paper in a book at local prosecutor offices. The book was difficult to search. Now the signatures are linked to the case file.

The Web page notes that online complaints only can be filed that way if the victim or person making the complaint knows the identity of the suspect. Otherwise, the complaint has to be made in person.

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