CHAPTER 135A
MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS ACT, 1995

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Act does not restrict other forms of cooperation nor authorise extradition.

4. Application.

5. Central Authority.

6. Request by foreign country.

7. Request for assistance and imposing of conditions on assistance.

8. Limitation of use of information or evidence.

PART II

9. Requests by Seychelles.

10. Requests by foreign country.

PART III

11. Requests by Seychelles for search and seizure.

12. Requests by foreign country for search and seizure.

PART IV

13. Request for removal of certain persons to Seychelles.

14. Custody of certain persons.

15. Immunities.

16. Limitation on use of evidence given by certain persons.

17. Escaping.

18. Arrest of person who has escaped from Custody.

19. Requests for giving of evidence at hearing in foreign countries.

20. Requests for assistance in relation to investigations in foreign countries.

21. Requests of a person while in the custody of an authority in Seychelles.

PART V

CUSTODY OF PERSONS IN TRANSIT

22. Person in transit through Seychelles.

23. Escaping.

24. Arrest of person in transit.

PART VI

PROCEEDS OF CRIME

Division 1 - Requests by Seychelles

25. Request by Seychelles for enforcement of orders.

26. Request by Seychelles for issue of orders in foreign countries.

Division 2 - Requests by Foreign Countries

27. Request by a foreign country for enforcement of orders.

28. Request by a foreign country for search and seizure warrants in respect of illegal property.

29. Request by a foreign country for restraining orders.

30. Request by a foreign country for information gathering orders.

PART VII

SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS

31. Service of documents.

PART VIII

MISCELLANEOUS

32. Delegation.

33. Evidence.

34. Authentication of documents.

35. Authority to enter into treaty: article 64 of the Constitution.

36. Rules of Court.

37. Regulations.

7 of 1995.

[Date of commencement: 1st July 1995]

AN ACT to make provision for the purposes of implementing the Commonwealth Scheme relating to Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters within the Commonwealth and to make provision with respect to mutual assistance in criminal matters between Seychelles and a foreign country other than a Commonwealth Country.

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, 1995.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

"approved form" means a form approved by the Central Authority in writing for the purposes of the relevant provision of this Act;

"Central Authority" means the Central Authority referred to in section 5;

"Commonwealth country" means—

(a) a sovereign and independent country within the Commonwealth (other than Seychelles) together with any dependent territory which that country designates;

(b) a territory within the Commonwealth which though not sovereign and independent, is designated under paragraph (a);

"criminal investigation" means an investigation into an offence (whether the offence is believed to have been committed or not);

"criminal matter" means a matter relating to an offence and includes—

(a) a criminal matter relating to revenue (including taxation and customs duties or trades tax);

(b) a criminal matter relating to foreign exchange control;

(c) a matter relating to the forfeiture or confiscation of property in respect of an offence;

(d) a matter relating to the imposition or recovery of a pecuniary penalty in respect of a offence; and

(e) a matter relating to the restraining of dealings in property, or the freezing of assets, that may be forfeited or confiscated, or that may be needed to satisfy a pecuniary penalty imposed, in respect of an offence;

"criminal proceeding", in relation to an offence, means a trial of a person for the offence or any proceeding in respect of the offence;

"financial institution" means a financial institution in terms of the Financial Institutions Act;

"foreign country" means a country, including a Commonwealth country, to which this Act applies under section 4;

"foreign forfeiture order" means an order made under the law of a foreign country for the forfeiture of property in respect of an offence under the law of that country;

"foreign pecuniary penalty order" means an order made under the law of a foreign country imposing a pecuniary penalty in respect of an offence under the law of that country, but does not include an order for the payment of a sum of money by way of compensation, restitution or damages to an injured person;

“foreign restraining order” means an order, made under the law of a foreign country, restraining a particular person or all persons, from dealing with property, being an order made in respect of an offence against the law of that country;

“forfeiture order” means an order made under a written law ordering the forfeiture of property in respect of an offence under a written law;

“illegal property”, in relation to an offence, means—

(a) property used in, or in connection with, the commission of the offence; or

(b) proceeds of the offence,

and when used without reference to a particular offence means illegal property in relation to a serious offence;

"Judicial officer" means a judicial officer in terms of the Criminal Procedure Code;

"Judicial records" means a judgement, order or decision of a court and other records held by a court;

"Pecuniary penalty order" means an order made under a written law that imposes a pecuniary penalty on a person in respect of an offence under a written law;

"Premises" includes—

(a) a structure, building, aircraft or vessel;

(b) a place, whether enclaved or built upon or not;

(c) a part of premises;

"Property-tracing document", in relation to an offence, means—

(a) A document relevant to—

(i) identifying, locating or quantifying property of a person who committed the offence; or

(ii) identifying or locating any document necessary for the transfer of property of a person who committed the offence; or

(b) A document relevant to—

(i) identifying, locating or quantifying property in relation to the offence; or

(ii) identifying or locating any document necessary for the transfer of illegal property in relation to the offence;

"Serious offence" means an offence the maximum penalty for which is death or imprisonment for not less than 12 months;

"Treaty" includes a convention, protocol or arrangement

3. Act does not restrict other forms of cooperation nor authorise extradition.

(1) Nothing in this Act prevents the provision or the obtaining of mutual assistance in criminal matters otherwise than as provided in this Act or otherwise than pursuant to other forms of co-operation between Seychelles and a foreign country, jurisdiction or organisation.

(2) This Act does not authorise the extradition or the arrest or detention with a view to the extradition of any person.

4. Application.

(1) This Act applies, subject to such limitation, condition, exemption and qualification as may be specified by regulations, to—

(a) all Commonwealth countries; and

(b) in the case of a foreign country other than a Commonwealth country, where there is a treaty for bilateral mutual assistance in criminal matters between Seychelles and the foreign country or for the purpose of giving effect to an international treaty of which Seychelles and the foreign country are parties, any other foreign country specified by regulations.

(2) This Act applies to the provision or the obtaining of mutual assistance in criminal matters in relation to an offence committed or believed to have been committed before or after the commencement of this Act.

5. Central Authority.

(1) There is established, for the purposes of this Act, a Central Authority.

(2) The Central Authority shall be the Attorney-General or such other person whom the President may, by notice in the Gazette, appoint.

(3) A request by Seychelles for mutual assistance under this Act may be made by the Central Authority.

6. Request by foreign country.

(1) A request by a foreign country for mutual assistance may be made to the Central Authority or a person authorised by the Central Authority in writing to receive a request by a foreign country under this Act.

(2) A request under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by—

(a) the name of the authority concerned with the criminal matter to which the request relates;

(b) a description of the nature of the criminal matter and a statement setting out the name and description of the person in respect of whom the request is made and a summary of the relevant facts and laws;

(c) a description of the purpose of the request and of the nature of the assistance being sought;

(d) details of the procedure that the foreign country wishes to be followed by Seychelles in giving effect to the request, including details of the matter and form in which any information, document or thing is to be supplied to the foreign country pursuant to the request;

(e) a statement setting out the wishes of the foreign country concerning the confidentiality of the request and the reasons for these wishes;

(f) details of the period within which the foreign country wishes the request to be complied with;

(g) if the request involves a person travelling from Seychelles to the foreign country, details of allowances to which the person will be entitled and the arrangements for accommodation for the person, while the person is in the foreign country pursuant to the request; and

(h) any other information that may assist in giving effect to the request,

but failure to comply with this subsection shall not be a ground for refusing the request.

(3) Subject to this Act, Seychelles shall endeavour to grant the mutual assistance requested as expeditiously as practicable.

(4) Where the Central Authority considers—

(a) that a request for assistance does not comply with this Act;

(b) that a request for assistance under this Act is to be refused in whole or in part;

(c) that the request for assistance cannot be complied with, in whole or in part; or

(d) that there are circumstances which are likely to cause a significant delay in complying with the request,

the Central Authority shall promptly inform the foreign country accordingly, giving reasons therefor.

7. Request for assistance and imposing of conditions on assistance.

(1) A request for assistance by a foreign country under this Act shall be refused if, in the opinion of the Central Authority—

(a) the request relates to the prosecution or punishment of a person for an offence that is, or is by reason of the circumstances in which it is alleged to have been committed or was committed, an offence of a political character;

(b) 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;

(c) 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, national origin or political opinion;

(d) the granting of the request would prejudice the sovereignty, security or national interest of Seychelles;

(e) the request relates to the prosecution of a person in a case where the person has been acquitted or pardoned by a competent tribunal or authority in the foreign country, or has undergone punishment provided by the law of that country, in respect of that offence or of another offence constituted by the same act or omission as that offence; or

(f) the provision of the assistance would be contrary to or cannot be effected under the Constitution and other laws of Seychelles;

(g) the limitations, conditions, exemptions or qualifications imposed under section 4 in relation to the foreign country prevent the request from being granted.

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