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The new Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Lithuania (came into force on May 1, 2003) introduces newly formulated norms, that regulate obtaining and evaluation of data significant for investigation and evaluation of a criminal offence. The purpose of this article is to analyse status of one kind of such data (evidence), i.e. – material objects. The analysis is presented on the concept of material objects that have paramount importance for investigation of a criminal offence and examination of a case. The article looks into the means of obtaining material objects during preliminary investigation, recording material objects, their inspection, conditions of storage and terms for their restitution in case of dissolving the process. The article also offers an overview on the norms regulating the status of material objects in criminal procedure acts of foreign countries. The evaluation of conception of material objects is based on historical and comparative aspects. The first section of chapter VI of Criminal Procedure Code is devoted to legal regulation on material objects. The law gives the definition of material things that have significance for investigation of a criminal offence and examination of a case in criminal procedure: they are material objects as tools or means of a criminal offence; or traces of a criminal offence remained on them; or they were objects of a perpetrator's criminal action; or all other objects that might be means for uncovering a criminal offence and establishing perpetrator‘s guilt or deny accusations and reduce responsibility. The article presents and analyses means of finding and obtaining material evidence inevitable for investigation of a criminal offence and examination of a case: property and people searche, seizures, verification of evidence at a crime scene, research and inspection of objects. Material objects can be also presented by process parties and other persons on their own initiative. The criminal procedure code provides for the system of means that have to be applied at the end of a process. The article analyses the mechanism of material objects restitution in different stages of criminal procedure, offers overview on the practice of other countries and presents suggestions for the Criminal Procedure Code amendments on legal regulation of material objects restitution.
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