House to debate greater ‘cross border’ crime fighting powers to AG

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The Attorney General will play a more direct role dealing with other jurisdictions in the fight against international crime, under legislation due to be debated today.

Amendments being discussed at the House of Assembly name the AG as the point of contact for treaties and agreements connected with the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) (Bermuda) Act.

The original bill was passed in 1994, to help Bermuda join forces with other countries in the war on drugs; it allows Bermuda and other jurisdictions to share evidence and cooperate in the serving of summonses and other judicial documents, and in the transfer of prisoners to testify or assist in investigations.

However, Attorney General Kim Wilson yesterday said the existing law doesn’t go far enough to account for ever increasing globalisation.

Senator Wilson told The Royal Gazette: “Ultimately the provisions of the Act will allow Bermuda to safeguard the integrity of our jurisdiction by providing a vehicle for cross border criminal prosecution as between Bermuda and the United States.

“The current provisions of the Act provide for only the processes and procedures for dealing with written requests for assistance.

“They do not provide for the situations which are becoming increasingly common in an ever increasing global interconnectedness, namely the obligations to provide assistance requested based on treaty obligations arising out of a treaty concluded between the Government of Bermuda and the foreign country making the request. This legislation will address this.”

Shadow AG Trevor Moniz said the amendments seem a sensible move at face value, though he will question some of the finer details in the House.

The only other piece of legislation due for debate today is the Specified Business Legislation Amendment Act, which places more requirements on companies to maintain records and accounts.

The original act made a broad range of changes to Bermuda’s legal framework to address recommendations from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which called for transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

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Published Jun 22, 2012 at 7:36 am (Updated Jun 22, 2012 at 7:36 am)

House to debate greater ‘cross border’ crime fighting powers to AG

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