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Mutual Assistance Act, 1997 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Summary of the Mutual Assistance Act, 1997 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

 

NATURE OF REQUEST

INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED BY THE REQUESTING GOVERNMENT

A request for assistance must -

specify the assistance requested; be initiated by a judge, magistrate, the Director of Public Prosecutions or a law enforcement agency; identify the person, agency or authority that initiated the request; state any wishes of the country concerning the confidentiality of the request and the reasons for those wishes; state any period within which the country wishes the request to be complied with; if the request would involve travel by any person from Trinidad and Tobago to the country, give details of allowances and accommodation to which the person would be entitled; and contain such information as is available to the central authority for the country, as will facilitate compliance with the request.

 

NATURE OF REQUEST

INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

 Where the assistance requested by a Commonwealth country is for the purposes of criminal proceedings, the request-

 shall be accompanied by the certificate, in relation to the criminal proceedings, that is referred to the definition of criminal proceedings and; shall- give details of the proceedings and the offence concerned, including a summary of the known facts; give the identity, if known, of the person to whom the proceedings relate or would relate; and if the proceedings have been instituted, state the stage reached in the proceedings and, where applicable, identify the court exercising jurisdiction.

 

 

 NATURE OF REQUEST

 INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

 A request for assistance from Trinidad and Tobago in obtaining evidence or information relevant to any criminal proceedings in the Commonwealth country making the request shall-

 give details of the procedure that the requesting country wishes to be followed in giving effect to the request, including details of the manner and form in which any evidence or information is to be supplied to that country; where relevant, indicate whether any person, from whom evidence is to be taken, is to be examined- orally or in writing; under oath; in the presence of his legal representative; or in the presence of the person to whom any relevant proceedings in that country relate; where evidence is to be taken from a person, specify the questions to be put to the person or the subject matter about which the person is to be examined; where the evidence is to be taken from a person, give details of any special requirements of the country as to the manner of taking evidence relevant to its admissibility in the country; and give details of any privileges or exemptions under the law of the country in relation to obtaining evidence or information by the means proposed in the request.

 

 

 NATURE OF REQUEST

 INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

 A Request seeking assistance from Trinidad and Tobago in obtaining by search and seizure, if necessary, an article or thing in Trinidad and Tobago for the purposes of, or in connection with any criminal proceedings in the Commonwealth country shall:

 Identify the article or thing which is to be obtained and, so far as is reasonably practicable, shall contain all information available to the central authority for the country, which may be required to be adduced in an application under the law of Trinidad and Tobago for any necessary warrant or authorization to effect a seizure of that article or thing.

 A request seeking that assistance be given by Trinidad and Tobago for the attendance in the Commonwealth country making the request, of a person in Trinidad and Tobago, to give or provide evidence or assistance relevant to any criminal proceedings in that country, shall:

 Identify the subject on whom evidence or information is to be provided and state the reasons for requiring the personal appearance of the prisoner.

 A request seeking the assistance of Trinidad and Tobago in effecting the service of a document on a person or an authority in Trinidad and Tobago for the purposes of, or in connection with, any criminal proceedings in the Commonwealth country making the request shall:

 be accompanied by the document to be served; and (b) where that document relates to the attendance of any person in the country, give such notice as that country is able to provide of outstanding warrants or other judicial orders in criminal matters against that person.

 

 

 NATURE OF REQUEST

 INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

 A request seeking assistance by Trinidad and Tobago in identifying, locating or assessing the value or amount of property in Trinidad and Tobago shall:

 be accompanied by a certificate given by the Attorney-General of a Commonwealth country to the effect that: a person in that country has been charged with, or convicted of, a specified serious offence; or a person in that country is suspected, on reasonable grounds of having committed a specified offence, and property derived or obtained, directly or indirectly by the person from the commission of that offence is suspected, on reasonable grounds, to be in Trinidad and Tobago. give details of the specified serious offence; and state the grounds for suspecting that the relevant property is in Trinidad and Tobago and give any information in the possession of the country which will assist in identifying or locating that property.

 

 

 NATURE OF REQUEST

 INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

A request that an order made in a Commonwealth country be enforced in accordance with the laws of Trinidad and Tobago and to that end Trinidad and Tobago give appropriate assistance should :

1. be accompanied by the certificate given by the Attorney General to the effect that : (a) an order is made in a Commonwealth country- confiscating or forfeiting property derived or obtained, directly or indirectly, from the commission of a specified serious offence; imposing on the person, against whom the order is made a pecuniary penalty calculated by reference to the value of property so derived or obtained; or restraining dealings with property which is, or is suspected on reasonable grounds of being property so derived or obtained; in the case of (1)(a)(ii) above, the person against whom the order was made appeared in the proceedings or, if he did not do so, that he received the notice of the proceedings specified in the certificate; 2. state that the order is in force in the Commonwealth territory; 3. state that the order is not subject to appeal. 4. be accompanied by a copy of the order made in the country: sealed by the court that made the order; or duly authenticated give details of the specified serious offence state the grounds for suspecting that the relevant property is in Trinidad and Tobago and give any information in the possession of the country, which will assist in identifying or locating the property; and 7. give particulars of any amount paid or recovered under the Order.

 

 

 NATURE OF REQUEST

 INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED

 Request that an order be made, in accordance with the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, restraining dealings with property and that Trinidad and Tobago give the appropriate assistance should:

 be accompanied by a certificate given by the Attorney-General to the effect that: a named person has been, or is likely to be charged with, or has been convicted of, a specified serious offence; and an order has been, or is likely to be made that has or, will have, the effect under the laws of that country- of confiscating or forfeiting property derived or obtained, directly or indirectly, by that person from the commission of the serious offence; or of imposing on that person a pecuniary penalty calculated by reference to the value of the property so derived or obtained and in the case of 1(b)(ii) above, that the person against whom the order was made appeared in the proceedings or, if he did not do so, that he received notice of the proceedings in sufficient time to enable him to defend them; if an order has been made, state that the order is not subject to appeal; if relevant, state the grounds for believing that an order is likely to be made; give details of the serious offence in respect of which the order was or, is likely to be made and state the grounds for suspecting that the relevant property is in Trinidad and Tobago and give any information in the possession of the country, which will assist in identifying the property.

 

OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

Where he is satisfied, the Attorney-General may give a certificate in such form as he determines, certifying in relation to a request for assistance made by the Commonwealth country under this Act that:

the request meets the requirements of this Act; or

the acceptance of the request was duly made under and in accordance with this Act.

After giving preliminary consideration to a request for assistance under this Act made by a Commonwealth country, the Central Authority may require the central authority for that country to furnish further information relative to the request, and if that information is not furnished within such period as the Central Authority considers reasonable, the request shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

3. If, in the opinion of the Central Authority, the expenses involved in complying with a request for assista1nce would be of an extraordinary nature, it shall consult the central authority for the Commonwealth country as to the terms and conditions under which compliance with the request may continue and, in the absence of agreement in that regard, it may refuse to continue further with the request.

4. If a request for assistance made by a Commonwealth country, other than an informal one, is refused, the fact of, and the grounds for, the refusal shall be given by the Central Authority to the central authority for that country.

5. A request for assistance under this Act, duly made by a Commonwealth country shall be refused if, in the opinion of the Central Authority:

the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person for an offence that is, or by reason of the circumstances in which it is alleged to have been committed or was committed, an offence of a political character (Under the Act, an offence is not an offence of a political character if it an offence within the scope of an international convention to which both Trinidad and Tobago and the Commonwealth country making the request are parties, and which imposes on the parties thereto, an obligation to afford mutual assistance in criminal matters relating to the offence);

there are substantial grounds for believing that the request has been made with a view to prosecuting or punishing a person for an offence of a political character;

there are substantial grounds for believing that the request was made for the purpose of prosecuting, punishing or otherwise causing prejudice to a person on account of the person’s race, sex, religion, nationality, place of origin or political opinions;

the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person in respect of conduct that, had it occurred in Trinidad and Tobago would have constituted a criminal offence under any law giving effect to a state of emergency, but if the conduct alleged would have amounted to a criminal offence under any other law of Trinidad and Tobago, this paragraph shall not apply;

the granting of the request would be contrary to the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago or the sovereignty of Trinidad and Tobago, or would prejudice the security, international relations or any substantial interest related to national security, public interest or other essential public policy of Trinidad and Tobago;

the request relates to conduct by a person that constitutes an offence in respect of which the person has already been convicted or acquitted by a court or tribunal in Trinidad and Tobago;

the request is for a transfer of a prisoner but the prisoner does not consent to a transfer;

the request is for assistance of a kind which cannot be given under this Act, or would require steps to be taken for its implementation that could not lawfully be taken;

the implementation of the request would require an individual to act or refrain from acting in a certain way, and the individual is not willing to do so and cannot be lawfully compelled to do so;

the request relates to an offence which in the requesting state is an offence only under military law or a law relating to military obligations;

the request relates to a criminal offence under the tax laws of a Commonwealth country, save that the assistance may be granted if the offence is committed by way of an intentionally incorrect statement, whether oral or written, or by way of an intentional failure to declare income derived from any other offence covered by the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters; or

it would be contrary to the laws of Trinidad and Tobago

6. A request for assistance made by a Commonwealth country may be refused, in whole or in part, if in the opinion of the Central Authority-

the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person in respect of conduct that, had it occurred in Trinidad and Tobago, would not have constituted an offence against the laws of Trinidad and Tobago;

the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person in respect of conduct that occurred, or is alleged to have occurred, outside the Commonwealth country making the request, and similar conduct occurring outside Trinidad and Tobago in similar circumstances would not have constituted an offence against the laws of Trinidad and Tobago;

the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of person in respect of conduct where, had it occurred in Trinidad and Tobago and had constituted an offence against the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, the person responsible could no longer be prosecuted by reason of lapse of time or for any other reason;

the request was made by a special or ad hoc tribunal;

the provision of the assistance would impose an excessive burden on the resources of Trinidad and Tobago;

any conditions, exceptions or qualifications imposed pursuant to section 4 in relation to the Commonwealth country, prevent the request from being accepted (Under S.4, the Attorney-General may, by Order, direct that the application of this Act in relation to a particular Commonwealth country shall be subject to such conditions, exceptions or qualifications as are specified in the Order, and in that event this Act shall apply accordingly);

the request does not meet the requirements of the First Schedule; or,

there are other reasonable grounds for doing so;