Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Latvia, the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on Co-operation in Protection of Witnesses and Victims
The Government of the Republic of Latvia, the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, hereafter referred to as "Parties",
on the basis of Clause 16 of Resolution No. 49/159 of the United Nations General Assembly of 23 December 1994,
on the basis of the Agreement of 11 November 1992 on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations between the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Lithuania,
on the basis of the Agreement of 30 June 1995 on Co-operation between the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Latvia, between the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Estonia and between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania,
taking into account the Resolution of the Baltic Assembly of 1997 on Enhancing the Protection of Participants in a Criminal Procedure,
duly considering the aims set by the Council of Ministers of the Baltic States for development of mutual co-operation in the field of combating crime and providing reliable protection of rights, freedoms and the legitimate interests of citizens of the three Countries,
being aware that successful combat organised crime is often based on the evidences provided by victims and witnesses,
being aware that victims and witnesses are often targets of threats or could be under other influence,
guided by international obligations, the national legislation and acting within own competence,
agreed as follows:
SCOPE AND SUBJECTS OF THE AGREEMENT
1. The Parties undertake to provide equal personal protection and protection of property, freedoms and legitimate interests of Persons of the three States against any threats and undue pressure in any direct or indirect form, provided that in respect of such persons an appropriate request has been submitted by one of the Parties.
2. The Parties through their central competent institutions shall co-operate and render mutual assistance in preventing and combating crime, implementing complex measures to ensure protection and transportation of Persons under protection.
3. The Parties shall provide adequate and effective protection of Persons under protection during the investigation of criminal case, during and after the legal proceedings, in cases when it has been acknowledged as necessary in the manner as defined in the legislation.
4. The applicable laws and other legal regulations of the receiving Party shall define the rights and duties of the person who is temporarily moved to the territory of the receiving Party.
5. Each of the Parties via diplomatic channels in due course informs other Parties about the central competent institutions for the aims of this agreement.
6. Each of the Parties in due course informs other Parties about changes in the list of their central competent institutions.
7. Central competent institutions seeking to implement this agreement directly contact each other.
DIRECTIONS OF COOPERATION
The Parties shall co-operate in the following forms:
1) by exchanging operative, search, inquiry and other information being at law enforcement authorities disposal and duly respecting the necessary confidence, about any crimes expected or committed and related to threats to Persons under protection when international assistance is required to prevent such threats. Under a separate agreement, by sending information about criminal groups, their members, leaders and criminal relations belonging to international crime and causing threat to Persons under protection of the Parties;
2) by implementing operative and investigative measures, necessary to ensure protection of Persons under protection, keeping necessary secrecy regime.
3) by determining validity of the decision on protection of a person of the requesting Party in the territory of the receiving Party;
4) on the basis of the requests of the Parties investigating criminal cases, organising operative and investigation activities related to ensuring of the protection of Persons under protection;
5) by further ceasing of criminal persecution or reducing of criminal punishment for persons who have rendered assistance to the law enforcement authorities of the other Party and have assisted to disclose a serious crime, if such crime is more dangerous than the offence committed by that person;
6) in summoning and interrogating Persons under protection, duly following necessary secrecy regime as well as provisions for the type of interrogation;
7) by temporarily or permanently moving the Persons under protection to the territory of the receiving Party without disclosing the identity of the endangered persons and, if necessary, by providing guarding or supervision over the place of their stay;
8) by exchanging scientific and technical information on issues of combating crime directed against Persons under protection, by joint criminological research on problems that could be solved together and by exchanging specialists for this purpose, by organising joint seminars and working meetings;
9) by setting up joint groups of experts for solving of more complicated issues of protection of Persons under protection and developing procedural norms, taking into account the legislation of the Parties;
10) on the basis of the assistance of international police organisations and Agreements between Parties, by carrying out training and preparation of personnel.
REQUESTS FOR PROTECTION
1. The Parties shall co-operate on the basis of written requests, which must be appropriately completed and contain the following particulars:
1) the name of the authority which has submitted the request and the name of the authority to which the request is addressed;
2) indication of secrecy regime;
3) the name, surname, place and time of birth, nationality, citizenship, profession and working place (if employed), knowledge of foreign languages and other relevant data of the person under protection who should be sent to the territory of the other Party;
4) the legal status of the person under the criminal case or other important information;
5) short description of the criminal case, in relation to which the request is being submitted, as well as causes and motives, on the basis of which the person should be moved to another State;
6) information explaining the seriousness of the existing threats, whether there are actual threats to the life, health, property or legitimate interests of the persons, whether such threats have been expressed or whether there are sufficient grounds to believe that the person is endangered;
7) recommended measures of protection;
8) the time necessary for stay on the territory of the receiving Party as well as any possible extensions of it;
9) preferable place of stay;
10) other preferable conditions which should be provided for the Persons under protection to be moved;
11) copy of the decision confirming that the person has acquired the status of a person under the special protection.
2. The request must be written in the English or Russian language and handed over to the representative of central competent authorities personally or by courier according to the secrecy regime. All additional information shall be delivered in the same way.
3. The head of the central competent authority shall sign the request.
4.The request shall be reviewed within 30 days since the day of receiving the request.
5. Requests shall be reviewed according to the good-will principle, but any of the Parties is free to turn down a request without explaining the reasons and motives to the requesting Party. If the requested Party refuses to accept the request, central competent institutions of the Parties inform each other in written form.
6. The Party, which is going to temporarily host the Persons under protection, may request additional information related to the person to be moved or to the corresponding criminal case.
7. If the request is accepted, the representatives of the central competent authorities of the Parties shall decide on concrete aspects related to moving the person to the territory of the receiving Party.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE RECEIVING PARTY
The receiving Party shall be obliged:
1) To ensure that the Persons under protection of the requesting Party are moved and protected, given residence permits as well as other documents necessary to stay in another country constantly.
2) In case of necessity, to change the identity of the Persons under protection.
3) To provide the Persons under protection with residence and work in the formerly agreed conditions.
4) Implement other necessary measures.
TERMINATION OF PROTECTION
If the person so moved violates national laws and other legal instruments, does not follow the duties and regulations defined for him or her, the receiving Party may deport such person from the state.
Any discrepancies related to the return of the person shall be settled between the competent authorities of the Parties.
MAINTAINING AND FORWARDING OF INFORMATION
Each Party undertakes to ensure secrecy of data to the other Parties. The extent of secrecy level shall be defined by the Party, which provides the data. The exchange of classified information is managed in accordance with international treaties signed between Parties. If any data received from one of the Parties under this Agreement should be submitted in addition to the third Party or the third state, the acceptance of the issuing Party must be first sought for such submission.
1. The requesting Party shall cover all the expenditures related to the transportation of the protected person and his or her family members, the costs of medical insurance, of social guarantees and change of identity.
2. The receiving Party shall pay the work of the officials of receiving Party.
The Parties, implementing co-operation according to this Agreement, use their state languages together with translation into the English or Russian language.
The Republic of Latvia shall act as the Depository for this Agreement. The Depository shall inform the Parties on any procedures concerning this Agreement.
1.This Agreement shall enter into force on the date, on when the Depository has received the last notification about the completion of necessary internal legal procedures concerning entry into force of the Agreement. Each party has the right to withdraw from this Agreement six months after written announcement to the Depository about its intention.
2. The Parties agree that the Agreement shall enter into force between two Parties when the Depository has received the notifications from the two Parties.
3. Each Party has the right to amend the Agreement, informing the Depository on its intent in writing. Amendments are made in writing and they enter into force according to the provisions of the first part of this Article.
Signed on 17th March 2000 in three original copies, each of the copies in Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian and English languages. All copies of these texts are to be regarded as authentic. In case of dispute of any interpretation, the English text shall prevail.
For the Government
of the Republic of Latvia
For the Government
of the Republic of Estonia
For the Government
of the Republic of Lithuania
Entry into force:
Place of signature:Tallina
Depositary:Government of the Republic of Latvia
Publication:"Latvijas Vēstnesis", 230/232, 20.06.2000.