Fraud usually means a paper trail in which consultants, asset managers, banks, and business relations are involved. During a criminal investigation the Office of the Public Prosecutor deploys the necessary (coercive) measures to gain insight into this. However, paper is ‘patient’. The examination or interrogation of the persons involved serves to be able to determine the background but also the knowledge and degree of imputability.

For a long time it had been common practice that on the day that the FIOD or another investigative authority conducted searches (raids) and/or filed claims for submission of documents in the context of a criminal investigation, suspects were also immediately arrested and witnesses were examined. This is still taking place, however meanwhile a different process has also been chosen ever more frequently. The FIOD then first conducts an investigation on the basis of all confiscated information. A period of radio silence follows. To outsiders it then, perhaps, appears as if the case has surely but slowly ended. Often, nothing is further from the truth, work is carried out on the preparation of the interrogation of suspects and the examination of witnesses.

It is also of utmost importance for these witnesses and suspects that they prepare themselves carefully for this kind of examination or interrogation.

The distinction in suspect or witness status as well as the distinction in examining or interrogating authority (investigating officer, investigating judge or trial judge) implies that the rights and obligations differ. In some instances, there can be question of an obligation to speak whilst in other instances this can lead to a violation of the confidentiality. For, for instance, DMS, accountants, tax consultants, and entrepreneurs this is usually an unfamiliar area. Our attorneys-at-law concluded and are handling many cases in which this was and is at stake. We also frequently provide assistance prior to and during an examination or interrogation.