How to interview a suspect, part 1

Why did you send the email with passwords in January 2019 when you know they are not supposed to be sent?

You said you were in Kampala on March 1st, 2020, right?

We see you made several calls to the key suspect, why were you calling at 9 pm and talking for long duration? Blah blah blah…

You can see a mediocre interviewer instantly. They lack an interview strategy.

The best part of any investigation is suspect interviewing. However, many investigators, auditors, fraud examiners, lawyers, prosecutors, and other accountability enforcement professionals have a poor interview and cross-examination skills. The results are increased case backlogs as evidence collection opportunities are missed at the interview stage.

#mindset Interviewing a suspect is an art. It is not for anyone. You need the expertise to conduct a great interview. Click To Tweet

The objective of an interview is to get a confession and save time for everyone involved. In this case, the confession is obtaining the expected facts from the suspect. This sounds Greek but let me explain.

An interview is not an exploration.

It is questioning to gain clarity about facts already collected during investigations. For this reason, NEVER start any investigation by interviewing suspects.

In part 2, we look at the phases of an investigation to set a foundation for effective interviewing.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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