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The Private Prosecutor

For certain less serious offenses where there is no public interest in a prosecution of the offender, the public prosecutor may decide not to indict. In this case, the victim of the crime may file for private prosecution.

However, the private prosecution poses considerable financial risks: If the action is dismissed, the defendant is acquitted or the proceedings terminated, the private prosecutor (Privatkläger) will bear his costs of the proceedings as well as those of his opponent.