Belarusian-Polish interagency consultations devoted to international cooperation in the criminal law sphere conducted by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus

Consultations with representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Poland and the National Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Poland were carried out in the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus. During the meeting the issues regulated by the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Poland on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family, labour and criminal cases dated 26 October, 1994, were discussed, namely legal assistance in criminal matters, extradition for criminal prosecution or enforcement of court sentences, criminal prosecution of a state’s citizens for the crimes committed by them on the territory of another state, etc.

Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Aleksey Stuk noted a high level of interaction of relevant offices of the two countries in the criminal law sphere, specified that there are some aspects of cooperation still requiring coordination.

Reference information. In 2016 and in the current term of 2017 the Belarusian party submitted 147 requests for legal assistance in criminal matters, 8 requests for extradition for criminal prosecution.

The Polish party in the given period filed 103 requests for legal assistance in criminal matters, 1 request for extradition of a person for criminal prosecution.  

Belarusian and Polish prosecutors, for the purposes of a more full adaptation of requested legal assistance to national criminal procedure laws, discussed peculiarities of conducting such investigative actions as search, seizure (including seizure of documents contained in consular archives), obtaining samples for comparative examination, and application of a coercive procedural measure in the form of seizure of property.

Polish approaches to understanding of the fundamental principle of dual criminality in respect of certain Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (Articles 228, 328-1, 271, 371-1,435) which matter in the process of making a decision on acceptability or non-acceptability of rendering legal assistance, extradition, transfer of criminal proceedings, transfer of sentenced persons for serving a remaining sentence in the form of deprivation of liberty in the state of their citizenship, were examined.

Apart from the above, the Polish colleagues were informed about prescription periods for criminal prosecution in the Republic of Belarus, rules of their temporary suspension and interruption, which in future will foster optimization of bilateral cooperation in transfer of criminal proceedings, realization of the principle of unavoidability of punishment for a committed crime for restoration of social justice.

Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Poland and the National Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Poland described in detail the procedure for execution of Belarusian requests for legal assistance in criminal matters, explained the competence of territorial prosecution bodies, gave a detailed account of the procedure of making decisions regarding taking into custody and extradition of persons, including the role of Polish and European courts in this process.  

In conclusion of the consultations Aleksey Stuk underlined the importance of holding such events which foster cooperation, safeguarding and promoting the rights of citizens and legal entities on the territory of the two states.

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