(parts 4 and 5)

Royal Decree No.(M/39), 28 Rajab 1422 [16 October 2001]
Umm al-Qura No.(3867), 17 Sha'ban 1422 [3 November 2001]


The English version of this document is for guidance only.
The Arabic version is the governing text.




Chapter I: Actions of the Investigator


Article 62 : If the Investigator concludes that there is no ground to proceed with the case, he shall recommend that the file of the case be suspended. An order to this effect may be issued by the head of the relevant department.

Article 63 : If an order suspending the file of the case is issued, the Investigator shall communicate such order to the victim and to any claimant in respect of the private right of action. In case of death of any of them, the order shall be communicated collectively to the heirs at the place of his residence.

Article 64 : During the investigation, the accused shall have the right to seek the assistance of a representative or an attorney. The Investigator shall conduct an investigation in the commission of any major crimes as herein provided for. He may also investigate other crimes if the circumstances of or gravity of the case so require or may file a lawsuit to have the accused appear directly before the competent court.   

Article 65 : The Investigator may designate in writing any of the criminal investigation officers to carry out one or more of the investigation proceedings other than the interrogation of the accused. The officer so designated shall enjoy the same powers of the Investigator in such proceedings. If the circumstances of the case warrant that the Investigator act beyond his powers, he may refer the case to an Investigator of the competent department or one of its criminal investigation officers, according to circumstances. This proceeding shall be carried out by the Investigator himself should such procedure be deemed necessary for the investigation.

Article 66 : Whenever someone is designated to carry out certain investigations, the Investigator shall specify in writing the matters to be investigated and the procedure to be followed. The designee may carry out any other act relating to the investigation, and interrogate the accused in cases of urgency whenever such proceeding is deemed relevant to his designated task and necessary for determining the truth.

Article 67 : The procedure relating to investigation and the results thereof are deemed confidential which the Investigators and their assistants - clerks, experts, and any other person connected with or participating in the investigation by reason of their occupation or profession - shall not disclose such procedure. The violator shall be held accountable.

Article 68 : Whoever suffers harm in consequence of a crime may file a claim in respect of his private right of action during the investigation of that action. The Investigator shall decide on the admissibility of such claim within three days from the date of filing. If the claim is rejected, an appeal may be lodged with the head of the relevant department within one week from the date of communication of the decision to the interested party. The decision issued by the head of the relevant department shall be final during the investigation stage.

Article 69 : The accused, the victim, the claimant in respect of the private right of action, and their respective representatives or attorneys may attend all the investigation proceedings. The Investigator may, however, conduct the investigation in the absence of all or some of the abovementioned, whenever that is deemed necessary for determining the truth. Immediately after the necessity has ended, he shall allow them to review the investigation.

Article 70 : The Investigator shall not, during the investigation, separate the accused from his accompanying representative or attorney. The representative or attorney shall not intervene in the investigation except with the permission of the Investigator. In all cases, the representative or attorney may deliver to the Investigator a written memorandum of his comments and the Investigator shall attach that memorandum to the file of the case.

Article 71 : The litigants shall be notified of the time and place of the investigation proceedings.

Article 72 : The victim and the claimant of the private right of action shall specify places in the town of the court within whose venue the investigation is conducted if they are not residents thereof. If they fail to do so, whatever necessary notice to them shall be deemed proper by notification to the court administration.

Article 73 : The litigants may submit their request to the Investigator during the proceedings. The Investigator shall decide such claims and specify the reasons for his decision.

Article 74 : If the Investigator's orders and decisions during the investigation proceedings are not issued in the presence of the litigants, he shall advise them of such orders and decisions within three days from their issue date.

Article 75 : In the exercise of their duties, the Investigators may seek the direct assistance of the security forces whenever necessary.


Chapter II: Assignment of Experts


Article 76 : The Investigator may seek the assistance of a specialized expert with respect to any matter relating to the investigation.

Article 77 : The expert shall submit his report in writing within the time prescribed by the Investigator. If the expert fails to submit his report by the deadline, or if he finds justification therefor, the Investigator may replace him with another expert. Each of the litigants may submit a report prepared by another expert retained by him in an advisory capacity.

Article 78 : The litigants may, on sufficient cause, object to the appointment of the expert. Such objection shall specify the reasons thereof and be submitted to the Investigator for decision. The Investigator shall issue his decision within three days from the date of submission of that objection. When an objection has been filed, the expert shall not continue in his assignment except in case of urgency in which case the Investigator shall order the expert to continue.


Chapter III: Movement to the Scene, Inspection, Search, and
Seizure of Items Connected with the Crime


Article 79 : When necessary, upon having been notified of a crime committed within his jurisdiction, the Investigator shall promptly move to the scene where that crime has been committed to carry out the necessary inspection before the effects of the crime have been removed, effaced, or altered.

Article 80 : Search of dwellings is an investigative act and shall not be conducted except pursuant to a statement of a person residing in the relevant dwelling, that he either committed a crime or participated therein or there was circumstantial evidence indicating that he was in possession of items relevant to that crime. The Investigator may search any place and seize any item which is likely to have been used in the commission of that crime or resulting therefrom and any other thing that may be useful in determining the truth including any document or weapon. In all cases, the Investigator shall prepare a record of that search, specifying the reasons therefor and the results thereof. However, dwellings shall not be entered or searched except as provided by law and pursuant to a search warrant issued by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.

Article 81 : The Investigator may search the accused; he may also search any other person if it appears on strong grounds that he is concealing certain things that may be useful in determining the truth. Such search is subject to the provisions of Article 42 herein.

Article 82 : Seizure of mail, publications, parcels, cables, telephone conversations, and other means of communication is subject to the provisions of Articles 55-61 herein.   

Article 83 : Seized items shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of Article 49 herein.

Article 84 : The Investigator may not seize any piece of paper or document that has been delivered by the accused to his representative or attorney in connection with the performance of the service entrusted to him, nor the correspondence exchanged between them in the case.

Article 85 : If the Investigator obtains evidence that a certain person is in possession of items relevant to a crime that he is investigating, the Investigator shall ask the head of the relevant department to issue an order for the delivery of such items to the Investigator to enable him to inspect these items as circumstances may warrant.


Chapter IV: Disposal of the Seized Items


Article 86 : An order may be issued that any item seized during the investigation be returned even before judgment is rendered, except when these items are necessary for the proceedings or subject to confiscation.

Article 87 : The seized items shall be returned to the person in whose possession they have been found. If these items were subject to the crime or the crime resulting therefrom, they shall be returned to the person who lost possession thereof by reason of that crime, unless the person in whose possession they have been found is entitled to retain them.

Article 88 : An order for the return of the seized items shall be issued by the Investigator or the judge of the competent court within whose jurisdiction the investigation has been conducted; the competent court may order the return of these seized items during the trial.

Article 89 : An order authorizing the return of the seized items shall not preclude interested parties from claiming their rights before the competent court, except the accused or the claimant in respect of the private right of action where such an order had been issued by the court pursuant to a claim by either of them against the other.

Article 90 : The Investigator shall not order the return of the seized items should there be any dispute or doubt as to who should receive them. In such a case, the matter shall be referred to the competent court pursuant to a request by the interested party which shall order as it sees fit.

Article 91 : When an order for suspending the case has been issued, such order shall specify the manner in which the seized items may be disposed of. This also shall apply when the relevant judgment in the case has been rendered if the claim for their return is made before the court.

Article 92 : Seized items that have not been claimed by its owners – after having been duly notified of their right to recover them, – shall be deposited with Bait al-Mal (Public Treasury).

Article 93 : The court within whose jurisdiction an investigation has been conducted may, on sufficient cause, refer the litigants to a competent court. In that case, the seized items may be kept under guard, or any other security action may be taken with respect thereto.   

Article 94 : If a seized item is perishable with passage of time, or if the cost of its safekeeping is so excessive that it could equal its value, the court may order that it be delivered to its owner or be deposited with Bait al-Mal for the purpose of selling it by auction whenever the investigation requirements allow. In that case, the claimant of ownership may claim the value for which it has been sold.



Chapter V: Hearing of Witnesses


Article 95 : The Investigator shall hear the statements of the witnesses called by the litigants unless he considers that their testimony would be useless. He may also hear statements from others whom he deems necessary with respect to the facts that may lead to the proof of the crime, its circumstances, and its attribution to the accused or his innocence.

Article 96 : The Investigator shall enter into the record full information about each witness, including the name of the witness, his surname, age, profession, nationality, place of residence and his relationship to the accused, the victim and the claimant of the private right of action.

These particulars, the testimony of witnesses and the procedure for hearing the testimony shall be entered into the record without any amendment, cancellation, erasure, insertion, or addition. These particulars shall be valid only after they have been approved by the Investigator, the clerk, and the witness.

Article 97 : The testimony shall be signed by the Investigator and the clerk, and it shall also be signed by the witness after it has been read to him. If the witness declines to sign or affix his thumb print on such testimony, or if he is unable to do so, a note to this effect shall be entered into the record together with any explanation on the part of that witness.

Article 98 : The Investigator shall hear each witness separately, and he may hear the witnesses in the presence of other witnesses and the litigants.

Article 99 : Following the hearing of the witness, the litigants may comment on his testimony and may ask the Investigator to hear the witness on any other point they raise. The Investigator may refuse to direct irrelevant or defamatory questions.


Chapter VI: Interrogation and Confrontation


Article 101 : When the accused appears for the first time for an investigation, the Investigator shall take down all his personal information and shall inform him of the offense of which he is charged. The Investigator shall record any statements the accused expresses about the accusation. The accused may be confronted with any other accused person or witness. After statements of the accused have been read to him, he shall sign them. If he declines to sign, a note to that effect shall be entered into the record.

Article 102 : The interrogation shall be conducted in a manner that does not affect the will of the accused in making his statements. The accused shall not be asked to take an oath nor shall he be subjected to any coercive measures. He shall not be interrogated outside the location of the investigation bureau except in an emergency to be determined by the Investigator.



Chapter VII: Summons and Arrest and Appearance Warrants


Article 103 : In all cases, the Investigator may, as the case may be, summon any person to be investigated, or issue a warrant for his arrest whenever investigation circumstances warrant it.

Article 104 : Each summons shall specify the full name of the person summoned, his nationality, occupation, place of residence, date of the summons, the time and date for his appearance, name and signature of the Investigator and the official seal. In addition, the arrest warrant shall instruct the public authority officers to arrest and bring the accused promptly before the Investigator in the event he refuses to appear voluntarily. Furthermore, the detention warrant shall instruct the detention center officer to admit the accused into detention center after explaining the offense with which he is charged and the basis thereof.   

Article 105 : The summons shall be communicated to the person wanted for interrogation through one of the process servers or public authority officers who shall deliver a copy of the summons to that person, if available, or to an adult member of his family, residing with him.

Article 106 : The warrant issued by the Investigator shall be valid throughout the Kingdom.

Article 107 : If the accused fails to appear without an acceptable cause after having been duly summoned, or if it is feared that he may flee, or if he is caught “flagrante delecto”, the Investigator may issue a warrant for his arrest and appearance even if the incident is of such kind for which the accused should not be detained.

Article 108 : If the accused has no known place of residence, he shall specify a place acceptable to the Investigator, failing which the Investigator may issue a warrant for his detention.

Article 109 : The Investigator shall promptly interrogate the accused who has been arrested. If this is not possible, he shall be kept in a detention center pending his interrogation. The period of detention shall not exceed twenty-four hours. On expiry of that period, the detention center officer shall notify the chairman of the relevant department which shall interrogate him promptly, or issue an order for his release.

Article 110 : If the accused is arrested outside the venue of the department conducting the investigation, he shall be brought to the investigation department in the area where he was arrested. This department shall verify all the relevant personal particulars and inform the accused of the incident attributed to him. His statements in respect thereof shall be recorded. If it is found necessary that he be transferred, he shall be notified of the place of his transfer.

Article 111 : If the accused objects to his transfer, or if his health condition does not permit such transfer, the Investigator shall be informed and shall promptly issue the necessary order.



Chapter VIII: The Detention Warrant


Article 112 : The Minister of Interior shall, upon a recommendation by the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution, specify what may be treated as a major crime requiring detention.

Article 113 : If it appears, following the interrogation of the accused, or in the event of his flight, that there is sufficient evidence of a major crime against him, or if the interest of the investigation requires his detention to prevent his fleeing or affecting the proceedings of the investigation, the Investigator shall issue a warrant for his detention for a period not exceeding five days from the date of his arrest.

Article 114 : The detention shall end with the passage of five days, unless the Investigator sees fit to extend the detention period. In that case, he shall, prior to expiry of that period, refer the file to the Chairman of the branch of Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution in the relevant province so that he may issue an order for extending the period of the detention for a period or successive periods provided that they do not exceed in their aggregate forty days from the date of arrest, or otherwise release the accused.

In cases that require detention for a longer period, the matter shall be referred to the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution to issue an order that the arrest be extended for a period or successive periods none of which shall exceed thirty days and their aggregate shall not exceed six months from the date of arrest of the accused. Thereafter, the accused shall be directly transferred to the competent court, or be released.

Article 115 : Upon the detention of the accused, the original text of the detention warrant shall be delivered to the detention center officer who shall sign a copy of that warrant as an acknowledgement of receipt.

Article 116 : Whoever is arrested or detained shall be promptly notified of the reasons for his arrest or detention, and shall be entitled to communicate with any person of his choice, to inform him (of his arrest or detention), provided that such communication is under the supervision of the criminal investigation officer.

Article 117 : Warrants for arrest, summons, or detention shall not be executed after expiry of three months from the date of issue, unless they are renewed.

Article 118 : The warden of the prison or the detention center officer shall not allow any public authority officer to communicate with the detainee, except pursuant to a written permission from the Investigator. A note showing the name of the person who has been permitted (to communicate with the detainee), the time for the meeting and the date and content of such permission shall be entered into the prison register.

Article 119 : In all cases, the Investigator shall order that the accused may not communicate with any other prisoner or detainee, and that he not be visited by anyone for a period not exceeding sixty days if the interest of the investigation so requires, without prejudice to the right of the accused to communicate with his representative or attorney.



Chapter IX: Temporary Release


Article 120 : An Investigator in charge of the case may, at any time, whether of his own accord or pursuant to a request by the accused, issue an order for the release of such accused, if he considers that there is no sufficient justification for his detention, that his release would not impair the investigation, and that there is no fear of his flight or disappearance, provided that the accused undertakes to appear when summoned.

Article 121 : In cases other than those where the release is mandatory, the accused shall not be released until he has designated a residence acceptable to the Investigator.

Article 122 : An order for the release shall not stop the Investigator from issuing a new warrant for the arrest or detention of the accused if evidence against him becomes stronger, or where the accused violates his undertakings, or where the circumstances of the case require such action.

Article 123 : If the accused is referred to a court, his release if detained or detention if not under arrest shall be within the jurisdiction of the court to which he has been referred. If lack of jurisdiction is determined, the court rendering the judgment of lack of jurisdiction shall have jurisdiction to consider the release or detention request, pending the filing of the case with the competent court.


Chapter X: Completion of Investigation and Course of Action


Article 124 : If the Investigator is of the opinion, following completion of the investigation, that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the case, he shall recommend to the Chairman of the relevant department to stay the case and the accused detainee be released– unless he is detained for another reason. An order by the Chairman of the relevant department in support thereof shall be effective – except in major crimes where the order shall not be effective unless confirmed by the Director of the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution or his deputy. The said order shall explain the reasons therefor and be communicated to the claimant in respect of the private right of action, and to his heirs collectively at his place of residence, in case of his death.

Article 125 : The decision staying the case shall not preclude the reopening of its file and the reinvestigation whenever there is new evidence strengthening the charge against the dependent. Such new evidence includes testimony of witnesses as well as records and other documentation that had not been previously presented to the Investigator.

Article 126 : If the Investigator is of the opinion, following completion of the investigation, that there is sufficient evidence against the accused, the case shall be referred to the competent court, and summons shall be served on the accused to appear before it.

Article 127 : If the investigation covers a number of related crimes within the jurisdiction of courts of similar jurisdiction, all these crimes shall be referred pursuant to a single referral order to the court with proper venue for one of these crimes. If the crimes are within the jurisdictions of courts of different jurisdictions, they shall be referred to the court of wider jurisdiction.







Chapter I: Criminal Jurisdiction


Article 128 : The Summary Court shall have jurisdiction over ta'zir (discretionary punishment) cases (except those excluded by a statutory law) and over hadd (Qur'anic prescribed punishment) cases (excluding capital punishment and amputation) and monetary damages (for crimes) that do not exceed one-third of the diyah (blood money).

Article 129 : The General Court shall have jurisdiction over cases that fall outside the jurisdiction of the Summary Court provided for under Article 128 hereof, or any other case that by law falls within the subject matter jurisdiction of this court. In particular, this court, convening as three judges, shall have jurisdiction over cases wherein the sentence claimed is the death penalty, rajm (stoning), amputation or qisas (retaliatory punishment) in cases other than death. This court shall not be entitled to issue a death sentence by way of ta'zir , except pursuant to a unanimous vote. Should such unanimity be impossible, the Minister of Justice shall assign two other judges in addition to the three judges who shall together be entitled, either unanimously or by majority vote, to issue a death sentence by way of ta'zir .

Article 130 : The General Court, in a locality where there is no Summary Court , shall have the same jurisdiction as the Summary Court .

Article 131 : Venue shall be determined by the place of commission of the crime, or the place where the accused resides. If the accused has no known place of residence, the venue shall be determined by the place where he is arrested.

Article 132 : It shall be deemed as a place of a crime, any place where any of the acts constituting that crime have been committed, or any act required to be done, the omission of which caused physical harm.

Article 133 : The court that considers a criminal case shall be competent to adjudicate all matters that are deemed essential for deciding the criminal case that was filed before it, unless the law stipulates otherwise.

Article 134 : If a judgment in a criminal case is contingent on the outcome of a judgment in another criminal case, the proceedings shall be stayed pending a decision on the other case.


Chapter II: Conflict of Jurisdiction


Article 135 : If an action is initiated in respect of a single crime or several related crimes before two courts, and both courts have or have not assumed jurisdiction and that jurisdiction is exclusive to these courts, the petition for specifying the court to adjudicate shall be made to the Appellate Court.


[continued on page 3 of 3]



The revitalization of Saudi Arabia's political system reflects the nation's adaptability to modern development without compromising its religious and cultural values.

Basic System of Government
The Basic System of Government identifies the nature of the state, its goals and responsibilities, as well as the relationship between the ruler and citizens.

Council of Ministers System
In 1953, King Saud bin Abdulaziz established the Council of Ministers to facilitate the Kingdom's development.

Majlis Al-Shura (Consultative Council)
The primary function of Majlis Al-Shura is to advise the King on issues of importance to the nation.

Provincial System
To further raise the efficiency of administration and to promote the continued development of the county's provinces and their extensive social services programs, King Fahd promulgated new bylaws for the Provincial System in 1992.