Suppression of the Taking of Hostages Act


Published: 1985-11-01

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Suppression of the Taking of Hostages Act
SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES [CH.87 – 1


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES
CHAPTER 87

SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Crime of hostage-taking.
4. Crime of hostage-taking within the Extradition Act.
5. Crime of hostage-taking deemed to be included in extradition treaties.
6. Surrender of offenders.
7. Restrictions on surrender of offenders.
8. Attorney-General’s consent to prosecutions.
9. Evidence.
10. Proceedings for an offence under this Act not otherwise affected.
11. Hostage-taking not to be regarded as of political character.
12. No derogation.

SCHEDULE.

SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES [CH.87 – 3


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 87

SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES
An Act to give effect to the Convention against the

Taking of Hostages adopted by the United Nations in 1979,
and for matters incidental to the implementation of that
Convention by The Bahamas.

[Commencement 1st November, 1985]
1. This Act may be cited as the Suppression of the

Taking of Hostages Act.
2. (1) In this Act —
“The 1979 Convention” means the Convention

Against the Taking of Hostages adopted by the
United Nations in 1979 and to which The
Bahamas is a party;

“Convention country” means a country for the time
being that is a party to the 1979 Convention.

(2) Any reference in this Act to the Extradition Act
is a reference to the Extradition Act, 1994.

3. (1) Subject to subsection (2) a person commits
the offence of hostage-taking who, whether in or outside
The Bahamas, unlawfully seizes or detains any person (in
this section referred to as the hostage) without his consent,
or with his consent obtained by fraud or duress, with intent
to compel the government of any country or any
international inter-governmental organisation or any other
person to do or abstain from doing any act as a condition,
whether express or implied, for the release of the hostage.

(2) No person shall be convicted of the offence of
hostage-taking if —

(a) the act of hostage-taking takes place in The
Bahamas; and

(b) the alleged offender is in The Bahamas; and
(c) the alleged offender and the hostage are citizens

of The Bahamas.

6 of 1985

Short title.

Interpretation.

Ch. 96.

Crime of
hostage-taking.

CH.87 – 4] SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) A person who commits the offence of hostage-
taking is liable on conviction on indictment to
imprisonment for fifteen years.

4. There shall be deemed to be included in the list
of extradition crimes in the Extradition Act, the offence of
hostage-taking as constituted by this Act.

5. (1) For the purposes of the Extradition Act the
offences of hostage-taking, including attempting to commit
that offence, aiding, abetting, inciting, counselling or
attempting to procure any person to commit such offence
when it is not in fact committed and being an accessory
after the fact to that offence shall, if not already described
in the treaty, be deemed to be an offence described in any
extradition treaty concluded before the commencement of
this Act and for the time being in force between The
Bahamas and any foreign country that is a party to the
1979 Convention.

(2) Where no such arrangement as is mentioned in
section 4 of the Extradition Act has been made with a state
which is a party to the 1979 Convention, an Order applying
that Act to that state may be made by the Minister
responsible for Foreign Affairs with like effect and subject
to like terms and conditions as if authorised by the said
section 2 and, for the purposes of any such Order, the 1979
Convention shall be treated as an arrangement such as
mentioned in that section:

Provided that where the Extradition Act applies by
virtue of an Order under this subsection, no such
application shall relate to any extradition crimes within the
meaning of the Extradition Act except an offence
mentioned in subsection (1).

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) or (2), no person
shall be liable to be surrendered under the Extradition Act
in respect of an act or omission that amounts to a crime to
which either of those subsections applies if that act or
omission occurred before the date on which the offence
was deemed by subsection (1) to be an offence described in
the relevant extradition treaty or before the date of the
relevant Order made under subsection (2), as the case may
be.

Crime of
hostage-taking
within the
Extradition Act.
Ch. 96.

Crime of
hostage-taking
deemed to be
included in
extradition
treaties.
Ch. 96.

Ch. 96.

Ch. 96.

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(4) For the purposes of this section the expression
“foreign country” includes any territory for whose
international relations the government of a foreign country
is responsible and to which the extradition treaty and the
1979 Convention extends.

6. (1) Where the surrender of a person is sought
under the Extradition Act in respect of any act or omission
that amounts to any offence mentioned in section 5 and for
which the person whose surrender is sought could be tried
and punished in the country seeking surrender, being a
country that is a party to the 1979 Convention, that act or
omission shall be deemed to have been committed within
the jurisdiction of that country notwithstanding that it was
committed outside the territory of that country.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), where any
act or omission to which that subsection applies occurred
in The Bahamas, the Extradition Act and the relevant
extradition treaty, as the case may be, shall apply with any
necessary modifications as if the act or omission had
occurred outside The Bahamas.

(3) In this section, the term “country” means any
territory for whose international relations the government
of a country is responsible and to which the extradition
treaty (if any) and the 1979 Convention extends.

7. (1) Notwithstanding sections 4 to 6 of the
Extradition Act, a person whose surrender is sought in
respect of any act or omission that amounts to an offence
mentioned in section 5 shall not be surrendered from The
Bahamas to another country if it appears to the aforesaid
Minister or to the court before which that person is brought
or to any court or judge on an application for a writ of
habeas corpus, that —

(a) the surrender of the offender, although
purporting to have been sought in respect of
such a crime, was sought for the purpose of
prosecuting or punishing him on account of his
race, ethnic origin, religion, nationality, or
political opinions; or

Surrender of
offenders.
Ch. 96.

Ch. 96.

Restrictions on
surrender of
offenders.
Ch. 96.

CH.87 – 6] SUPPRESSION OF THE TAKING OF HOSTAGES





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) if the offender is surrendered —
(i) he may be prejudiced at his trial, or

punished, detained, or restricted in his
personal liberty, by reason of his race,
ethnic origin, religion, nationality or poli-
tical opinions; or

(ii) his position may be prejudiced because
communication with him by the appropriate
authorities of the country that is entitled in
international law to exercise rights of
protection in respect of the accused person
cannot be effected.

(2) Notwithstanding sections 4 to 6 of the Extradition
Act, no person shall be surrendered from The Bahamas to
another country in respect of any act or omission that
amounts to an offence mentioned in section 5 if proceed-
ings have been brought in The Bahamas against that person
in respect of the act or omission.

(3) Notwithstanding sections 4 to 6 of the
Extradition Act, but subject to subsection (4), no court in
The Bahamas shall order the surrender, or the committal
for the purposes of surrender of a person to another country
in respect of any act or omission that amounts to an offence
mentioned in section 5 if the Attorney-General certifies
that the case is being or is about to be considered to
determine whether or not proceedings should be brought in
The Bahamas against that person in respect of the act or
omission.

(4) If, in any case to which subsection (3) applies, it
is subsequently determined that proceedings should not be
brought in The Bahamas against the person in respect of
the act or omission, the Attorney-General shall advise the
court accordingly, and the court shall proceed with the
matter as if the Attorney-General’s certificate had never
been given.

8. (1) Subject to subsection (2), no proceedings for
the trial and punishment of any person charged with an
offence mentioned in section 5 shall be instituted in any
court except with the consent of the Attorney-General.

Ch. 96.

Ch. 96.

Attorney-
General’s
consent to
prosecutions.

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(2) A person charged with an offence referred to in
subsection (1) may be arrested, or a warrant for his arrest
may be issued and executed, and he may be remanded in
custody or on bail, notwithstanding the consent of the
Attorney-General to the institution of a prosecution for the
offence has not been obtained, but no further proceedings
shall be taken until that consent has been obtained.

9. For any purpose in connection with this Act, a
certificate given by the Minister responsible for Foreign
Affairs certifying —

(a) that any country is or is not, or was or was not at
any material time, a party to the 1979 Conven-
tion; or

(b) that the government of any country is or is not,
or was or was not at any material time,
responsible for the international relations of any
territory,

shall be sufficient evidence of that fact.
10. Nothing in any other law which relates to the

jurisdiction of a court of The Bahamas in respect of any
offence committed on board any ship or aircraft beyond
The Bahamas or which requires the consent of the
Attorney-General to proceedings in certain cases for such
an offence shall apply with respect to any proceedings
brought under this Act in respect of an offence mentioned
in section 5.

11. (1) This section applies to any offence
mentioned in section 5(1) of which a person is accused or
has been convicted outside The Bahamas.

(2) For the purposes mentioned in subsection (3), no
offence to which this section applies shall be regarded as
an offence of a political character and no proceedings in
respect of such an offence shall be regarded as a criminal
matter of a political character or as a criminal proceedings
of a political character.

(3) Those purposes are —
(a) the purposes of the Extradition Act in relation to

any requisition for the surrender of a fugitive
criminal made on behalf of a Convention
country after the coming into operation of this
Act; and

Evidence.

Proceedings for
an offence under
this Act not
otherwise
affected.

Hostage-taking
not to be
regarded as of
political
character.

Ch. 96.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) the purposes of the taking of evidence pursuant
to the Extradition Act in relation to any criminal
proceedings instituted in a Convention country
after the coming into operation of this Act.

12. (1) Save as specifically provided for by the other
sections of this Act, nothing in this Act shall derogate from
the provisions of any other law.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, this
Act shall be construed and have effect subject to Article 12
of the 1979 Convention as set out in the Schedule.

SCHEDULE

ARTICLE 12
In so far as the Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the

protection of war victims or the protocols Additional to those
Conventions are applicable to a particular act of hostage-taking,
and in so far as States Parties to this Convention are bound
under those Conventions to prosecute or hand over the hostage-
taker, the present Convention shall not apply to an act of
hostage-taking committed in the course of armed conflicts as
defined in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Protocols
thereto, including armed conflicts mentioned in Article 1,
paragraph 4, of protocol Additional I of 1977, in which peoples
are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation
and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-
determination, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations
and the Declaration on Principles of International Law
concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in
accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

No derogation.