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The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 01.10.2005.–09.10.2007.
Amendments not included: 13.09.2007., 21.10.2010.
Disclaimer: The English language text below is provided by the Translation and Terminology Centre for information only; it confers no rights and imposes no obligations separate from those conferred or imposed by the legislation formally adopted and published. Only the latter is authentic. The original Latvian text uses masculine pronouns in the singular. The Translation and Terminology Centre uses the principle of gender-neutral language in its English translations. In addition, gender-specific Latvian nouns have been translated as gender-neutral terms, e.g. chairperson.

The Saeima1 has adopted
and the President has proclaimed the following Law:

Special Protection of Persons Law

Section 1. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of this Law is to ensure the protection of the life, health and other legal interests of such persons who are testifying in criminal proceedings or who participate in the uncovering, investigation or adjudication of a serious or especially serious crime (hereinafter - person to be protected).

Section 2. Special Protection of Persons

Special protection of persons (hereinafter - special protection) is an aggregate of criminal procedural, operative and other protection measures that ensures the protection of the life, health and other legal interests of persons to be protected.

Section 3. Principles of Special Protection

(1) Special protection shall be performed with the consent of the person to be protected or his or her legal representative. The person to be protected has the right to decline special protection at any time. A minor may decline special protection if his or her legal representative agrees thereto.

(2) In the taking of special protection measures, a person to be protected and the body performing special protection shall mutually observe their rights and duties.

(3) The type, scope and intensity of protection measures shall be selected in accordance with the nature and intensity of the threat.

Section 4. Rights to Special Protection

(1) The following persons testifying in criminal proceedings (hereinafter - person testifying in criminal proceedings) have the right to special protection:

1) a victim, witness or another person who is testifying or has testified regarding a serious or especially serious crime;

2) a minor who is testifying regarding the crimes provided for in Sections 161, 162 and 174 of the Criminal Law; and

3) a person the danger to whom may influence the person testifying in criminal proceedings.

(2) A person who is not testifying in criminal proceedings, but participates in the uncovering, investigation or adjudication of a serious or especially serious crime, as well as a person who is in danger due to the activities of the referred to persons (hereinafter - another person to be protected), has the right to special protection.

Section 5. Performers of Special Protection

(1) Special protection shall be performed by the following institutions by utilising the protection measures specified in this Law:

1) a specially authorised division of the State Police;

2) a specially authorised department of the Latvian Prisons Administration and at the place of imprisonment - a specially authorised division of the place of imprisonment; and

3) other persons performing investigative operations, if, in accordance with the instructions of the Prosecutor General, it is necessary to ensure particular interests of special protection or if it is necessary to ensure special protection for another person to be protected.

(2) Special protection shall be performed, by utilising measures of criminal proceedings, by the performer of procedures in accordance with the procedures specified in the Criminal Procedure Law.

Section 6. Reason and Grounds for Special Protection

(1) A reason for prescribing special protection shall be a threat that has actually occurred to the life, health or other legal interests of a person, expressed imminent threats, or sufficient grounds for believing that the danger may be imminent due to a provided testimony or participation in the uncovering, investigation or adjudication of a crime.

(2) The grounds for the prescription of special protection shall be:

1) a written submission of a person testifying in criminal proceedings or his or her representative or counsel and a proposal of the performer of procedures

2) the initiative of a court, if a reason for prescribing special protection has arisen during the course of adjudication; or

3) a written submission of another person to be protected or his or her legal representative.

Section 7. Presentation of a Submission

(1) A person testifying in criminal proceedings shall present a submission to the performer of procedures. The performer of procedures shall present the submission together with his or her proposal to the Prosecutor General. In the adjudication stage, the submission shall be submitted to the court. If the performer of procedures does not propose to prescribe special protection, a decision regarding special protection shall be taken in accordance with the procedures specified in the Criminal Procedure Law.

(2) Another person to be protected shall present a submission to the head of a special protection institution.

Section 8. Recognition of a Person as Requiring Special Protection

(1) The Prosecutor General or a court shall take a decision regarding special protection of a person testifying in criminal proceedings after becoming acquainted with a submission of the person, a proposal of the performer of procedures and the materials of the criminal matter, as well as, if necessary, shall hear the threatened person, his or her representative or counsel.

(2) A court may also take a decision regarding special protection of a person testifying in criminal proceedings on its own initiative if the necessity to prescribe special protection of the person has arisen during the adjudication procedure and the consent of such person or his or her legal representative has been received.

(3) Prior to the taking of a decision, the Prosecutor General or a court may assign a special protection institution to perform an inspection and provide an opinion regarding the feasibility of a threat and protection measures within a time period of not longer than five days.

(4) Upon the examination of a submission of another person to be protected, the head of a special protection institution shall take a decision regarding the prescription of special protection for the person. If necessary, the head of the special protection institution shall organise an assessment of the indicated conditions, threat and potential persons who make threats and hear the threatened person or his or her legal representative.

Section 9. Initiation of Special Protection in Emergency Cases

(1) If it is necessary to immediately avert or prevent imminent danger to a person, special protection measures may be initiated and taken with the consent of the threatened person or his or her legal representative before special protection is prescribed for the person.

(2) In such case, a performer of procedures shall immediately, but not later than within a time period of 10 days, send a proposal to the Prosecutor General regarding the prescription of special protection for a person testifying in criminal proceedings, or shall terminate the protection measures. Another person to be protected shall be immediately recognised as a person requiring special protection, or the protection measures shall be terminated.

Section 10. Decision regarding Special Protection of a Person

(1) A decision regarding the prescription of special protection shall be taken immediately but not later than within a time period of 10 days from the day of the receipt of a submission or a proposal.

(2) An institution and an official who have been assigned the implementation of a decision shall be indicated in the decision regarding the prescription of special protection, and the special protection measures to be applied may be indicated.

(3) If a decision not to specify a person as requiring special protection is taken, such decision shall require substantiation.

Section 11. Appeal of a Decision

(1) A decision of the Prosecutor General or a court regarding a person testifying in criminal proceedings may be appealed in accordance with the procedures specified in the Criminal Procedure Law.

(2) A decision of a special protection institution regarding another person to be protected may be appealed to the Prosecutor General. The decision of the Prosecutor General shall be final.

Section 12. Implementation of a Decision regarding Special Protection

After a decision regarding the prescription of special protection has been taken, the performer of special protection shall:

1) inform the person who has asked to prescribe protection regarding the decision taken;

2) explain to such person the right to appeal the decision;

3) explain the rights and duties of the person to be protected;

4) warn the person to be protected not to disclose information related to the protection measures of such person. The person to be protected shall sign regarding the non-disclosure of the referred to information; and

5) if the identity data have been changed for the person to be protected, - the person shall be informed regarding the use of the new identity data and regarding the fact that the liability when operating with the new identity data remains the same as when operating with the previous identity data. The person to be protected shall sign regarding the receipt of the referred to information and shall provide a sample of his or her signature in accordance with the new identity data.

Section 13. Rights and Obligations of a Person to be Protected

(1) A person to be protected has the following rights:

1) to be informed regarding a decision to prescribe special protection for such person;

2) to become acquainted with information regarding the intended measures that will be utilised for his or her protection;

3) to ask that the special protection measures specified in this Law be applied or cancelled;

4) to invite an advocate for the representation of his or her interests; and

5) to decline special protection.

(2) A person to be protected has the following duties:

1) to comply with the requirements of the performer of special protection;

2) to inform a special protection institution and a performer of procedures regarding a threat and persons who may be involved in the implementation of the threats, as well as provide other information requested by the special protection institution that is necessary for ensuring special protection;

3) not to disclose information regarding special protection measures;

4) to abstain from activities that may threaten the life, health or other legal interests of himself or herself or other persons; and

5) if the identity of the person is changed, - to inform the special protection institution regarding his or her civil legal obligations.

Section 14. Rights and Duties of a Special Protection Institution

(1) In order to ensure the special protection of persons, a special protection institution has the following rights:

1) to choose and perform the special protection measures referred to in this Law in accordance with the nature and intensity of a threat;

2) to request that a person to be protected observes the legal requirements of the special protection institution; and

3) to request and receive necessary information, as well as to ask for assistance of another kind from State and local government institutions and officials.

(2) A special protection institution has the following duties:

1) to ensure the participation of a person to be protected in criminal proceedings;

2) if necessary, to ensure the person to be protected with consultations in legal and employment matters;

3) to ensure the person to be protected who does not have his or her own means of subsistence with means of subsistence;

4) at the request of the person to be protected, to ensure visitation with his or her representative or counsel;

5) if necessary, to ensure the person to be protected with medical and psychological assistance; and

6) to monitor and control whether the danger continues to exist and whether special protection is necessary.

Section 15. Agreement with a Person to be Protected regarding the Provision of Special Protection

If special protection is provided by a special protection institution, such institution shall enter into a written agreement prior to the commencement of special protection with the person to be protected regarding the provision of special protection, wherein the rights and duties of the person to be protected and the special protection institution as well as the intended special protection measures shall be indicated.

Section 16. Special Protection Measures

Special protection of a person shall be ensured by utilising the investigatory operations activities specified in the Investigatory Operations Law, as well as the following special protection measures:

1) a security guard for the person to be protected;

2) the securing against unsanctioned wiretapping of the conversations of the person to be protected, the securing against unsanctioned control of his or her correspondence;

3) the movement of the person to be protected to other unknown (confidential) residential premises;

4) the issuance of a passport and other documents with different personal identity data;

5) the change of the permanent residence and place of work of the person to be protected;

6) the protection and non-issuance from State information systems of the data of the person to be protected;

7) the transfer of the person to be protected to another state in accordance with entered into international agreements or an agreement with such state;

8) if necessary, insurance of the property of the person to be protected; and/or

9) escorting of the detained and convicted persons to be protected separately from other prisoners.

Section 17. Special Protection Measures in Places of Imprisonment

The following special protection measures may be applied to persons in a place of imprisonment:

1) the placement of a person to be protected in another imprisonment cell or in a place of imprisonment specially chosen for such purpose;

2) the keeping of the person to be protected separately from other prisoners;

3) the transfer of such person to another place of imprisonment who may threaten or threatens the person to be protected; and/or

4) reinforced control over the contact of the person to be protected with other prisoners.

Section 18. Termination of Special Protection

(1) Special protection of a person to be protected shall be terminated in the following cases:

1) the reason for special protection has ceased to exist;

2) the person to be protected has made further protection impossible due to his or her actions; or

3) the person to be protected has declined special protection in writing.

(2) If any of the reasons referred to in Paragraph one of this Section has arisen, the performer of special protection, after the receipt of a written explanation from the person to be protected regarding the conditions that motivate the taking of a decision regarding the termination of special protection, shall address the person who took the decision regarding the prescription of special protection with a proposal to terminate the special protection of the person to be protected.

Section 19. Ensuring Implementation of Civil Legal Obligations of Persons to be Protected

(1) The recognition of a person as a person requiring special protection shall not affect his or her civil legal obligations with other persons and the obligations of other persons with the person requiring special protection.

(2) If the need to solve civil legal matters in a court or another institution has arisen, a person to be protected may be represented by an official of a special protection institution.

Section 20. Storage of Documents

Documents containing information regarding the organisation, methods, tactic and means of special protection measures, as well as information regarding the persons involved in the taking of protection measures, shall be compiled and stored in special records.

Section 21. Inter-state Co-operation

A special protection institution may co-operate with the protection institutions of other states on the basis of entered into international agreements or a separate agreement.

Section 22. Financial Provision of the Special Protection of Persons

The operation of special protection institutions shall be financed from State budget resources.

This Law shall come into force concurrently with the Criminal Procedure Law.

This Law was adopted by the Saeima on 19 May 2005.

Acting for the President,
Chairperson of the Saeima I. Ūdre

Rīga, 31 May 2005

 


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2006 Tulkošanas un terminoloģijas centrs (Translation and Terminology Centre)

 
Tiesību akta pase
Nosaukums: Personu speciālās aizsardzības likums Statuss:
Spēkā esošs
spēkā esošs
Izdevējs: Saeima Veids: likums Pieņemts: 19.05.2005.Stājas spēkā: 01.10.2005.Tēma: KriminālprocessPublicēts: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 85, 31.05.2005.; Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 12, 22.06.2005.
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