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Dausab motivates International Cooperation in Criminal Matters amendment bill

Dausab motivates International Cooperation in Criminal Matters amendment bill

The Minister of Justice, Hon Yvonne Dausab recently motivated the tabling of the International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Amendment Bill, per articles 63 and 32 of the Constitution, to ensure the confiscation of the instrumentality of an offence or intended instrumentality of a crime from foreign states.

By “instrumentality of an offence” the ministry defines either property or equipment that can used to commit a crime, or that is intended to be used to commit a crime.

Dausab emphasized that the amendments are required to secure the forfeiture of a foreign state’s means of an offence or means of an intended crime.

In addition, the Minister explained that the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, Act 29 of 2004, as amended, defines an offender’s instrumentality as “any property involved in the commission or suspected commission of an offence at any time before or after the commencement of the act whether committed within Namibia or elsewhere.”

According to her, an intended instrumentality of an offence is “any property intended to be used in the commission of an offence.”

The Minister also noted that if a foreign confiscation order, preservation order, or forfeiture order emanates from instrumentality or intended instrumentality of an offence, legal proceedings are going to be initiated by the Prosecutor General under Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Said Dausab: “When the case comes from a foreign state, the legal proceedings will be initiated by that foreign state, and the foreign state will request Namibia to enforce the order. For Namibia to be able to render legal assistance to a requesting state in this regard, the proposed amendments to the International Cooperation in Criminal Matters  Act are necessary.

Ultimately, there is a need to expand the grounds for refusal of a request for mutual legal assistance under Section 7A to include requests related to a political offence or an offence of a political character, and to include requests related to an offence under military law which would not be an offence under ordinary criminal law. The amendments reflect international best practices, and the additional grounds are also included in Article 6 (1) (a) and (b) of the SADC Protocol on mutual legal assistance in Criminal Matters and Article 14 (1) of The London Scheme for Extradition within the Commonwealth, of which Namibia is a party.”



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