Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant professor in criminal law and criminology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences , Golestan university,Iran,Golestan


Despite the fact that the interrogation and initial questions and answers of the victim in the primary investigations process play a prominent role in the detection of crimes, but the physical and mental characteristics of the interrogator and the manner of the interrogation process have been disregarded in Persian criminal law studies. This article aims to answer the question with a descriptive-analytical method, what requirements should be considered in the interrogation process in the primary research stage to detect the victimization of children? To achieve this, according to the available data, the article is divided into three topics.
The first topic examines the selection of the interrogator and his training. If the first step, which is to have an expert interrogator with special physiological and mental characteristics, is not taken correctly, it will definitely not be time for the other steps.  In relation to the physical characteristics of the interrogator, various studies indicate that people have a tendency to disclose crimes for women in sensitive matters such as sexual crimes, and this tendency is more prominent in the case of children due to their sensitive nature. Out of all the requirements regarding the interrogation of children, the Iranian legislator has explicitly and correctly set criteria for the gender of the interrogator. Article 42 of the Criminal Procedure Law stipulates: "If possible, the interrogation and investigation of women and minors should be carried out by trained female officers and in accordance with religious standards." In addition to physical characteristics, the main thing that plays an important role in doing an accurate and reliable question and answer is the mental characteristics and capabilities that he acquires. The increase in skill and expertise leads to the reduction of bias and incorrect mental backgrounds, and as a result, more correct and reliable information is obtained. In many countries, such as the United States, Canada, and England, training courses are held to improve the expertise and skills of interrogators, and the interrogation process is subject to pre-determined and taught protocols. The most widely used and important of these protocols, which have many similarities with each other, are: 1 Step-Wise Interview Guidelines; 2. cognitive interview; 3. Ten-step Investigative Interview; 4. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development research interview protocol.
The second topic deals with the issue that after the selection and training of the interrogator, he should be able to get to know the child's condition and gain his trust in the beginning. The age of the victim, his physical, mental and spiritual abilities and problems, evolutionary or developmental considerations, ethnicity, language, culture, religion and the economic status of the family where he grows up and the places he went and comes are examples of information that should be obtained before the main question and answer session. This information can be obtained from the child's relatives, the school and kindergarten he goes to, and his doctors and teachers. After the initial acquaintance with the child, the interrogator should gain his trust by using them and by applying communication methods. Verbal and non-verbal communication, respecting the child's personal space by maintaining a proper distance and asking if the child feels comfortable with the distance between the interrogator and himself, calling him by name, Choosing words and arranging them next to each other in such a way that the child believes that the interrogator understands his painful situation and sympathizes with him has a great effect on creating empathy and intimacy between the two parties.
In the last topic and after communicating with the child, It is time for the interrogator to give basic training to the child and ask the main questions and answers related to the crime. Explaining the child's role in the interrogation, teaching how to answer the questions, explaining the concepts of truth and lies to the child and gaining a detailed understanding of him in answering the questions are the effects of basic training. In the main questions and answers and according to the protocols, the beginning of the main question and answer process should be with "open questions". After the interrogator has heard the child's free interpretation and everything that was in his mind since the day of the incident, he should add to its quantitative and qualitative richness through specialized questions. The questions should not be suggestive or in such a way that their answer is yes or no.
These explanations and information in various sources about this subject show that the primary investigations process, especially the interrogation session, question and answer session, interview or any other title that is placed on it, is one of the most important parts of criminal justice system, which is ultimately a huge part of the justifications for sentencing, but so far no special law or regulation has been written for its technical part. In other words, issues such as the existence of an expert and trained interrogator who has a special card should be included among the rights of the parties to a criminal case. It is clear that having legal information or work experience of the judge and officer who is responsible for the interrogation is not a guarantee for holding a useful and quality question and answer session.


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