Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Slovak Republic on Co-operation in Detecting, Investigating and Preventing Criminal Offences


Published: 2008-10-06

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AGREEMENT
BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
AND
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC
ON CO-OPERATION IN DETECTIng, INVESTIGATIng AND PREVENTIng
criminal offences
 
 
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Slovak Republic, hereinafter referred to as “the Parties“,
 
desiring to promote the relationship of friendship and co-operation between the Parties,
 
aware of the serious threat of international organised crime, terrorism and other crime of international nature to the social and economic development and public security of the States of the Parties,
 
convinced that the effective bilateral co-operation enables the competent authorities of the Parties to perform their respective tasks in detecting, investigating and preventing criminal offences more effectively,
 
wishing to establish a mechanism for such co-operation and make relevant arrangements for this purpose,
 
recognizing the advantages offered in this field by the EU membership,
guided by the principles of equality and mutual benefit,
 
aware of the necessity to implement the provisions of the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the Gradual Abolition of Checks at their Common Borders and the Convention of 19 June 1990 applying the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the Gradual Abolition of Checks at their Common Borders,
 
duly observing their respective national legislation and having due regard to the international commitments that are binding the Parties and their States and referring in particular to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950 and its Protocols, the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data of 28 January 1981, the Convention Based on Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, on the Establishment of a European Police Office of 26 July 1995 (Europol Convention) and its Protocols, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime of 15 December 2000 and its Protocols, the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 and its protocols, the Convention, established by the Council in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union, on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 29 May 2000 and its Protocols, the Convention drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on Mutual Assistance and Cooperation between Customs Administrations and the Recommendation No R (87) 15 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States regulating the use of personal data in the police sector,
 
have agreed as follows:
 
 
Article 1
Definitions
 
For the purposes of this Agreement:
1)    "competent authority" means any public body indicated in Article 4 of the this Agreement and authorised to perform certain functions within the limits of its competence, relating to detecting, investigating and preventing criminal offences;
2)    "liaison officer" means a representative of one of the Parties seconded to the State  of the other Party or a third country or an international organisation to establish and maintain contacts with the authorities of those countries or international organisations with the view to assist in detecting, investigating and preventing criminal offences;
3)    "personal data" means any information of any type relating to natural person, identified or directly or indirectly identifiable by means of data such as identification code, one or several features of physical, physiological, psychological, economic, cultural or social nature characteristic to a person;
4)    "processing of personal data" means any operation or a set of operations performed upon personal data: collection, recording, accumulation, storage, classification, grouping, combination, modification (by adding or correcting), provision, publication, use, logic and (or) arithmetic operations, search, dissemination, destruction or other.
 
 
Article 2
Areas of co-operation
 
1.   The Parties undertake to co-operate under this Agreement in detecting, investigating and preventing criminal offences provided in the documents, referred to in the Preamble of this Agreement, in particular:
1)     offences against life or health;
2)     offences concerning terrorism;
3)     trafficking in human beings, including illegal deprivation of liberty and forced prostitution;
4)     illegal transportation of people across the state border;
5)     child pornography and sexual exploitation of children;
6)     illicit manufacture of and trafficking in narcotic and psychotropic substances and other toxic substances and their precursors;
7)     thefts and illicit production of, trafficking in and possession of arms, ammunition and explosives and chemical, biological, radioactive and other hazardous materials, as well as military equipment, dual-use technologies, related services and goods;
8)     money laundering;
9)     illicit trafficking in vehicles;
10)   cyber crime and offences related to the functioning of information systems and networks;
11)   offences against property, including extortion, thefts of and illicit trafficking in cultural valuables;
12)   forgery of money and other means of payment, financial documents and securities as well as other documents, and putting them into circulation and using as genuine;
13)   offences against the economy, business order and system of finance, including smuggling and other tax offences;
14)   offences concerning corruption.
2.      The Parties also undertake to co-operate in:
1)     locating the missing persons and assisting to establish the identity of persons and unidentified corpses;
2)     locating persons suspected of being involved in the commission of criminal offences or persons evading punishment for the committed criminal offences;
3)     locating objects related to committed criminal offences, on the territory of the State of one of the Parties that have been unlawfully taken into possession on the territory of the State of the other Party;
4)     providing effective protection to the participants in criminal proceeding, as well as persons who take part in operational activity or provide assistance to competent authorities of the Parties, if the persons concerned are covered by a protection programme of the State of the respective Party.
3.   By mutual agreement, the Parties may co-operate under this Agreement in any other area provided that this is compatible with the purposes of this Agreement.
4.   In all cases, co-operation under this Agreement shall not include the issues of providing legal and judicial assistance in criminal matters and extradition or transfer of offenders subject to the European arrest warrant.
 
 
Article 3
Forms of co-operation
 
The Parties shall co-operate under this Agreement by:
1)     exchanging information relevant to the implementation of this Agreement;
2)     sending representatives to common (joint) groups;
3)     providing each other assistance through liaison officers;
4)     providing scientific and technical assistance in forensic expert examination of objects;
5)     exchanging expertise in working methods and equipment used;
6)     providing assistance in staff training and perfecting their expertise;
7)     implementing other agreed forms of co-operation.
 
 
 
Article 4
Competent authorities
1.   For the purpose of implementing this Agreement, the competent authorities of the Parties and their designated experts shall co-operate directly. The competent authorities of the Parties are:
-     In the Republic of Lithuania:
Ministry of the Interior,
Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior;
State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior;
Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the Interior;
State Security Department;
Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance;
Special Investigation Service.
-     in the Slovak Republic:
Ministry of the Interior,
Presidium of the Police Force;
Borders and Aliens Police Bureau under the Ministry of the Interior;
Slovak Information Service;
Customs Directorate of the Slovak Republic.
2.   The Ministries of the Interior shall as soon as possible communicate to each other contact data of the competent authorities listed in paragraph 1. The competent authorities shall directly inform each other of any change relating to their contact data as soon as possible.
3.   The competent authorities of the Parties may, within the limits of their competence, determine specific areas and forms of co-operation by implementing agreements.
 
 
Article 5
Common (joint) groups
 
When implementing this Agreement the representatives of the competent authorities of the Parties may participate in the activity of common (joint) groups and perform other common actions.
 
 
Article 6
Liaison officers
 
1.   In order to promote co-operation and for the appropriate implementation of this Agreement, the Parties may, by mutual consent, second their liaison officers for a limited or unlimited period to be posted in each other‘s territory of the State.
2.   Liaison officers shall provide information and perform other tasks under the instructions of the seconding Party and, within the limits of their competence, shall execute requests for assistance of the authorities of the Party to the territory of the State whereto they have been seconded. In performing their functions, liaison officers shall not have the right to intervene and shall comply with the national legislation of that State to the territory of which they are seconded.
3.   With a view to encourage co-operation between the Parties, on request of the competent authorities of the Parties or on their approval the following duties may be assigned to the liaison officers:
1) to encourage and speed up information exchange between the competent authorities of the Parties indicated in Article 4 of the Agreement;
2) to assist in performing investigations related to the State of the Party, which they represent;
3) to assist in examining requests from the competent authorities of the Parties;
4) to advise and help the competent authorities,  when they prepare and implement  common (joint) operations;
5) to perform any other tasks on which the Parties agree among themselves.
4. The Parties may agree that in accordance with the procedures and conditions provided for in the Council Decision 2003/170/JHA of 27 February 2003 on the common use of liaison officers posted abroad by the law enforcement agencies of the Member States, a liaison officer seconded by one Party to one or more third countries or international organizations will also represent the interests of the other Party.
 
 
Article 7
Requests for assistance
 
1.   Transmission of information and other forms of co-operation referred to in Article 3 of this Agreement shall be implemented by the competent authorities in response to requests for assistance in writing including those received in accordance with the Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA of 18 December 2006 on simplifying the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities of the Member States of the European Union. Such co-operation may also be maintained through liaison officers, if they have been designated.
2.   A request for assistance shall contain all the information required for its execution and shall be accompanied by copies of documents enabling its execution.
3.   When the competent authority receives a request for assistance which is not within its competence, it shall as soon as possible transfer such a request to the other competent authority of the same Party which can execute it and shall notify of it the competent authority of the other Party which has submitted that request for assistance.
4.   The requested authority shall execute a request for assistance as soon as possible. It may also request the requesting authority of the other Party for additional information when it appears necessary for the execution of the request or when it can facilitate such execution, but not exceeding what is necessary to achieve the aim with which the request for assistance is submitted.
5.   If there are grounds for the requested authority to believe that the request, if granted, is likely to prejudice the sovereignty or security of the respective State or that it would be contrary to its national legislation, international commitments or other essential national interests, it may refuse to execute it, wholly or partially, or impose conditions on its execution.  In the event of refusal, the requested authority shall promptly inform in writing the requesting authority and state the reasons for such refusal.
6.    The competent authorities may on its own initiative communicate information to the competent authorities of the other Party or take other action to assist in detecting, investigating or preventing criminal offences.
 
 
Article 8
Personal data protection
 
In processing personal data under this Agreement, the competent authorities of the Parties shall comply with the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data of 28 January 1981, the relevant European Union legal acts on personal data protection, their respective national legislation and the following provisions:
1)     the competent authority transmitting personal data shall be responsible for the correctness of the personal data transmitted and shall ensure that they are transmitted only to the extent necessary for the purposes of this Agreement;
2)     the competent authority receiving personal data shall process on fair and legal basis, protect and use the personal data transmitted to it solely for the purposes and under the conditions determined by the transmitting authority;
3)     upon request by the transmitting authority, the receiving authority shall provide  information concerning the use of the personal data received and  the results thus achieved;
4)     should it prove that the transmitted personal data were incorrect or inaccurate or that these personal data should not have been transmitted pursuant to the national legislation of the transmitting authority, the transmitting authority shall immediately notify of this fact the receiving authority of the other Party and the latter shall without delay rectify or destroy them;
5)     the data subject, at its request and in accordance with the national legislation of the relevant Party, must be provided with safeguards, as prescribed in Article 8 of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data of 28 January 1981; it is possible to refuse such request, if provided for by the national legislation and if it is in the interest of protecting State security, public safety, the monetary interests of the State or the suppression of criminal offences; protecting the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others;
6)     the transmitting authority shall set a period at the expiry whereof the personal data transmitted shall be destroyed; this notwithstanding, the personal data transmitted shall be destroyed when they are no longer necessary for the purposes for which they have been transmitted; the transmitting authority shall be immediately notified of all instances of and reasons for such destruction of personal data;
7)     the transmitting and receiving authorities shall keep records of the transmission, receipt, use and destruction of  personal data;
8)     the authorities transmitting and receiving personal data shall properly safeguard them from unauthorized access, alteration without authorization of the transmitting authority, accidental or unauthorized destruction, or unauthorized disclosure.
 
 
 
Article 9
Confidentiality of information
 
1.    The competent authorities shall exchange classified information under this Agreement directly.
2. The competent authority receiving information under this Agreement shall ensure the level of confidentiality accorded to it by the transmitting authority.
3. The competent authority receiving information under this Agreement may disclose it to a third party, including other competent authorities and other authorities of that Party’s State as well as to the third country, with the prior written consent of the transmitting authority only.
 
 
Article 10
Evaluation of the implementation of the Agreement
 
The competent authorities of the Parties may set up a group consisting of an equal number of representatives of the competent authorities of each Party for the evaluation of the implementation of this Agreement, which shall submit evaluation reports to the competent authorities of the Parties and, where appropriate, proposals on the improvement of practical and legal aspects of the co-operation between the Parties.
 
 
Article 11
Languages for co-operation and the validity of documents
 
1.   Requests for assistance and other documents under this Agreement shall be drawn in the official language of the State of the transmitting authority and shall be accompanied by a translation into the official language of the State of the other Party or into English.
2.    Documents drawn up or certified by the competent authorities of one Party in the territory of the State whereof in conformity with its national legislation shall be accepted in the territory of the State of the other Party without any further certification.
 
 
Article 12
Costs
 
Costs resulting from the implementation of this Agreement shall be covered by each Party to the extent necessary to fulfil its obligations under this Agreement. Where appropriate, the competent authorities of the Parties in each individual case may decide otherwise.
 
 
Article 13
Other international commitments
 
Nothing in this Agreement shall affect any commitments arising for the Parties and their States from other international bilateral or multilateral agreements by which either of the Parties and their States may be bound.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Article 14
Dispute settlement
 
Any dispute between the Parties concerning the interpretation or the application of this Agreement shall be settled through negotiation or consultation.
 
 
Article 15
Final provisions
 
1.      This Agreement shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the date on which the Parties have notified each other in writing through diplomatic channels that the necessary legal procedures for the entry into force of the Agreement have been fulfilled in accordance with the national legislation of the Parties.
2.      This Agreement may be amended by mutual agreement of the Parties. Such amendments shall come into force in accordance with the procedure laid down in paragraph 1 of this Article and shall form an integral part of this Agreement.
3.      Either Party may entirely or partially, suspend implementation of this Agreement for the reason of threatening the national security, public order or health of citizens. Suspension of implementation of this Agreement shall, through diplomatic channels, be communicated to the other Party without undue delay and shall enter into force on the date of receipt of notice thereof.
4.      This Agreement is made for an unlimited period of time and may be terminated by either Party by giving the other Party at least six (6) months’ notice in writing through diplomatic channels. Termination of this Agreement shall not affect the performance of the obligations of the Parties taken on up to the effective date of such termination, unless otherwise agreed.
 
 
DONE at …………, on …. ................... 2008 in two original copies in the Lithuanian, Slovak and English languages, all these texts being equally authentic. In case of any divergence in the interpretation of this Agreement, the English text shall prevail.
 
 
For the Government of the                                            For the Government of the
Republic of Lithuania                                                    Slovak Republic