ACT 567 OF 2000
Official Journal No 43883 of 7 February 2000
Through which the "Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Government approved the Republic of Colombia and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela ", signed in Caracas, the twenty (20) February in 1998 (1998). Summary
THE CONGRESS OF COLOMBIA
having regard to the text of the "Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela", signed in Caracas, the twenty (20 ) February in 1998 (1998), which reads:
(to be transliterated: photocopy of the full text of that instrument, duly authenticated by the Head of the Legal Office of the Ministry of attached External relationships).
'COOPERATION AGREEMENT AND JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS
BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC
The Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela, hereinafter the Parties;
Considering the ties of friendship and cooperation that bind us together as neighbors;
Recognizing that the fight against crime is a shared responsibility of the international community and requires joint action by States;
Conscious of the need to strengthen mechanisms for judicial cooperation and mutual assistance to prevent the increase in criminal activities;
In observance of their domestic legal systems;
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
ARTICLE 1o. PURPOSE AND SCOPE.
1. The Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Venezuela, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement and their respective legal systems, undertake to provide the broadest cooperation and mutual legal assistance for investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings related to criminal matters.
2. This Agreement shall not empower authorities or individuals of the requesting party to undertake in the territory of the Requested Party functions, according to domestic laws, are reserved to the authorities, except in the case provided for in Article 14, paragraph 3.
3. This Agreement shall not apply to:
a) The detention of persons for the purpose of their extradition, or requests for extradition;
B) The execution of criminal sentences including the transfer of sentenced persons for the purpose of complying criminal sentence.
4. This Agreement is intended solely for the purpose of cooperation and mutual legal assistance between the Contracting States. The provisions of this Agreement shall not create any rights in favor of individuals in order to obtain, suppress or exclude any evidence or to impede the execution of a request.
. Dual criminality. Assistance will be provided even if the act for which proceeds in the Requesting Party is not considered a crime under the law of the Requested Party.
However, for the execution of judicial inspections, requisitions, searches and precautionary or final measures on goods, the assistance will be provided only if the law of the Requested Party provides it an offense for which he proceeds in Part requesting.
ARTICLE 3. SCOPE OF ASSISTANCE. Assistance shall include:
a) Service of Process;
B) Receiving, testing and referral practice and judicial, such as testimony, statements, appraisals and inspections of persons, property and places proceedings;
C) Location and identification of persons;
D) Notification of persons and experts to appear voluntarily to give evidence or testimony in the Requesting Party;
E) Transfer of detainees in order to appear as witnesses in the requesting Party or for other purposes expressly indicated in the application;
F) Precautionary measures on goods;
G) Compliance with other requests concerning property, including the eventual transfer of the value of confiscated definitively to the extent that it is compatible with its domestic law;
H) Submission of documents and other test objects;
I) Facilitate internal mobility and allowing entry into the territory of the requested State officials Requesting State in order to attend the practice of the actions described in this Agreement, provided that the domestic law of the requested State permits ;
J) Any other form of assistance in accordance with the purposes of this Agreement as long as they are not inconsistent with the laws of the Requested State.
ARTICLE 4. CENTRAL AUTHORITIES.
1. The Central Authorities will submit and receive direct communication including requests for cooperation and assistance to which this Agreement.
2. For the Republic of Colombia in relation to requests for assistance sent to Colombia, the Central Authority shall be the Attorney General's Office. With regard to requests for assistance made by Colombia, the Central Authority shall be the Attorney General's Office or the Ministry of Justice and Law.
3. For the Republic of Venezuela the Central Authority shall be the Ministry of Justice.
The Parties may, by diplomatic notes, communicate changes in the designation of the Central Authorities.
The 5th ITEM. AUTHORITIES FOR THE REQUEST FOR COOPERATION AND ASSISTANCE. For the purposes of this Agreement, requests by a Central Authority in accordance with this Agreement shall be based on requirements transmitted cooperation and assistance of the competent authorities of the requesting Party, responsible for the prosecution or investigation of crimes.
ARTICLE 6o. REFUSAL OF ASSISTANCE.
1. The Requested Party may refuse assistance if:
a) The request for assistance in the opinion of the Requested State refers to a political or offense connected with this;
B) The person in connection with which the measure is sought has been acquitted or has served his sentence in the Requested Party for the same acts mentioned in the application or when criminal action is extinguished;
C) compliance with the request would be contrary to its sovereignty, security, public order or other essential or fundamental interests of the Requested Party;
D) The request for assistance is contrary to the law of the Requested Party or not in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement;
E) The investigation has been initiated with the purpose of prosecuting or discriminating in any way against a person or group of persons because of race, sex, social status, nationality, religion, ideology or any other form of violation of rights humans.
2. If the Requested Party refuses assistance, it shall inform the requesting Party through its central authority, with the reasons on which it is based, without prejudice to Article 13.1.b.
3. The competent authority of the Requested Party may deny, condition or suspend the performance of the application, when considered impeding ongoing criminal proceedings in their territory.
On these conditions the Requested Party shall consult the requesting Party through the Central Authorities. If the Requesting Party accepts conditional cooperation or assistance, the request shall be executed in accordance with the manner proposed.
EXECUTION OF REQUESTS.
ARTICLE 7. FORM AND CONTENT OF THE APPLICATION.
1. The request for assistance must be made in writing.
2. The application may be anticipated by telex, facsimile, electronic mail or other equivalent means it must be confirmed by original document signed by the requesting Party within 30 days of its formulation.
3. The request shall contain the following information:
a) Identification of the Competent Authority of the Requesting Party;
B) Description of the facts that are the subject of cooperation or assistance and the nature of the legal proceedings, including the offenses to which it refers;
C) Description of the measures of cooperation or assistance requested;
D) Reasons why the measures are requested;
E) Reference to the applicable law;
F) Identity of the persons subject to judicial proceedings, as they are known;
G) Term within which the Requesting Party wishes the request to be met.
4. Where necessary, and as far as possible, the request shall also include:
a) Information on the identity and place of location of persons to be notified and their relationship to the process;
B) The exact description of the place to inspect and identify the person to be examined, as well as property subject to a precautionary or definitive measure;
C) The text of the questions to be formulated for the practice of the testimony in the Requested Party and the description of the way shall be made and recorded any testimony or statement;
D) The description of how and special procedures under which applications must comply, if they were required;
E) Information on the payment of costs to be allocated to the person whose presence is requested by the Requested Party;
F) An indication of the authorities of the requesting Party to participate in the process taking place in the Requested Party;
G) Any other information that may be useful to the Requested Party to facilitate the execution of the request;
Article 8. APPLICABLE LAW.
1. Fulfilling requests be made according to the law of the Requested Party and in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.
2. At the request of the Requesting Party, the Requested Party shall execute the cooperation or assistance in accordance with the special forms and procedures indicated in the request, unless they are incompatible with its domestic law.
Article 9. CONFIDENTIALITY AND LIMITATIONS ON THE USE OF INFORMATION.
1. The Requested Party shall keep reserves the request for judicial assistance, unless its disclosure is necessary to execute the request. In this case, the Requested Party shall request approval to the Requesting Party, by written communication, without which the application will not run.
2. The Competent Authority of the Requested Party may request that information or evidence obtained under this Agreement be kept confidential, in accordance with the conditions specified.
In this case, the Requesting Party shall observe such conditions. If you can not accept, it shall notify the Requested Party, which will decide on the request for cooperation or assistance.
3. Without prior authorization of the Central Authority of the Requested Party, the Requesting Party may only use information or evidence obtained under this Agreement in the investigation or proceeding indicated in the request.
ARTICLE 10. INFORMATION ON THE APPLICATION PROCESS.
1. At the request of the Central Authority of the Requesting Party, the Central Authority of the Requested Party shall report within a reasonable time on the processing of the application.
2. The Central Authority of the Requested Party promptly inform the result of the execution of the request and send all the information and evidence obtained to the Central Authority of the Requesting Party.
3. Where it is not possible to fulfill the request, in whole or in part, the Central Authority of the requested Party shall immediately inform the Central Authority of the Requesting Party and inform the reasons why it was not possible compliance, without prejudice Article 13. 1.b.
ARTICLE 11 EXPENSES
. The Requested Party shall provide for the recurrent costs of filling out the application. The Requesting Party shall pay the expenses and fees for expert witnesses and extraordinary expenses to be incurred for the performance of the application and the travel expenses of the persons mentioned in Articles 15 and 16. CHAPTER III
Forms of cooperation or assistance.
ARTICLE 12. NOTIFICATION AND DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS.
1. The Competent Authority of the Requested State shall take all necessary steps to perform, summonses or delivery of documents relating, in whole or in part, with a request for cooperation or assistance by the Competent Authority of the Requesting State in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement .
2. Any request for notice or delivery of a document requiring the presence of a person before the authorities of the requesting State, shall be sent by the Central Authority of the Requested State well in advance of the date of the scheduled appointment.
3. The Central Authority of the Requested State shall submit proof of delivery as indicated on the application.
4. If notification or summons is not made, the Requested Party shall report, through the Central Authorities, the Competent Authority of the Requesting Party, the reasons why it could not fill.
ARTICLE 13. DELIVERY AND RETURN OF OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS.
1. At the request of the Competent Authority of the Requesting Party, the Competent Authority of the Requested Party, through the Central Authorities:
a) Provide copies of official documents, records and information accessible to the public;
B) May provide copies of documents and information to which the public does not have access, under the same conditions in which those documents would be made available by its own authorities. If assistance under this subparagraph is denied, the competent authority of the Requested Party shall not be obliged to state the reasons for refusal.
2. Documents or objects that had been sent in response to a request for judicial assistance shall be returned by the Competent Authority of the Requesting Party, the Requested Party when so requested.
ARTICLE 14. ASSISTANCE IN PART REQUIRED.
1. The Central Authority of the Requested Party in accordance with its laws, shall take the necessary measures to ensure that any person who is in its territory and be asked to testify or expertise, submit documents, records or evidence under of this Agreement, it is cited and if necessary compelled to appear before the Competent Authority.
2. The Requested Party shall inform sufficiently in advance the place and date of the declaration witnessed or expertise, or the aforementioned documents, records or evidence will be received. Where necessary, the competent authorities shall consult through Central Authorities for purposes of fixing a convenient for the competent authorities of the Parties date.
3. The Competent Authority of the Requested Party shall under his leadership, the presence of officials of the authorities of the requesting Party indicated in the request during the execution of measures of cooperation or assistance, and allow questions if not contrary to its law. The hearing will take place according to the procedures established by the law of the Requested Party.
4. If the person referred to in paragraph 1 claims immunity, privilege or incapacity under the law of the Requested Party, this will be resolved by the Competent Authority of the Requested Party before completion of the application and the Requesting Party shall be communicated through the Central Authority.
5. The documents, records and evidence provided by declarants or obtained as a result of his statement or on the occasion thereof, will be sent to the requesting Party together with the statement.
ARTICLE 15. ASSISTANCE requesting party.
1. When the Requesting Party requests the presence of a person in its territory to testify or provide information or statement, the Requested Party shall invite the declarant or expert to appear before the competent authority of the Requesting Party.
2. The Competent Authority of the Requested Party shall record in writing the consent of the person whose presence is requested in the Requesting Party, and shall immediately inform the Central Authority of the Requesting Party of the response.
3. The Requesting Party shall bear the travel expenses and subsistence charge.
ARTICLE 16 APPEARANCE OF DETAINEES.
1. At the request of the requesting Party, and provided the requested Party access, may be temporarily transferred to the Requesting Party for the purpose of giving testimony or assistance in investigations, detainees in the territory of the Requested Party, provided that so desire.
2. The transfer will be denied when, according to the circumstances, the Competent Authority of the Requested Party considers inconvenient transfer, among others for the following reasons:
a) The presence of the detained person is required in a pending criminal proceedings in the territory of the Requested Party;
B) The transfer may involve the extension of police custody.
3. The Requesting Party shall keep the person transferred custody and delivered to the requested Party within the period fixed by or before that, to the extent that they no longer were required his presence.
4. The time in which the person is outside the territory of the Requested Party shall be computed for purposes of preventive detention or serving the sentence.
5. In case the person transferred should no longer be detained, the Requested Party shall notify the Requesting Party. That person will be released and subject to the general rules laid down in Article 15 of this Agreement.
6. The detained person does not give consent to make statements in the terms of this Article shall not be subject, for this reason, any penalty or be subjected to any comminatory measure.
ARTICLE 17. TEMPORARY
1. The appearance of a person who consents to give evidence or assist, in accordance with Articles 15 and 16, will be conditional on the Requesting Party may grant a temporary guarantee that it will not be able to while the person is in its territory:
a) Stop or judge the person before leaving the territory of the Requested Party crimes;
B) Summon the person to appear or testify in different procedure specified in the request; unless the person agrees in writing and the Central Authorities of both States agree on it.
2. The temporary guarantee shall cease when the person voluntarily prolongs his stay in the territory of the requesting Party for more than 10 days from the time when his presence is not necessary in that State, in accordance with the statement of the Requested Party, except circumstances of force majeure.
ARTICLE 18. PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES.
1. For the purposes of this Agreement.
A) "Proceeds of crime" means any property derived from or obtained directly or indirectly from the commission of an offense or its equivalent;
B) "Instrument of crime" means any property used or intended to be used for the commission of a crime.
2. The Competent Authority of a Party, through the Central Authorities, may request the identification and / or the adoption of precautionary measures on goods, instrument or proceeds of crime that are located in the territory of the other Party.
When it comes to the identification of proceeds of crime, the Requested Party shall report on the outcome of the search.
3. After identifying the proceeds of crime, or in the case of an instrument of crime, at the request of the Requesting Party, the Requested Party, to the extent that its internal legislation permits, take the appropriate precautionary measures such property.
4. The request submitted under the preceding paragraph shall include:
a) A copy of the injunction requested;
B) A summary of the facts of the case including a description of the offense, where and when it was committed and a reference to the relevant legal provisions;
C) To the extent possible, a description of the goods for which it is intended make the measure and its commercial value and their relationship with the person against whom began;
D) An estimate of the amount to which it intends to apply the precautionary measure and the basis of calculation thereof.
5. The Requested Party shall decide, under the law, any request concerning the protection of rights of bona fide third parties on goods that are the subject of the measures provided for in the preceding paragraphs.
6. The competent authorities of each Party shall promptly inform the exercise of any action or a decision regarding the precautionary measure requested or adopted.
ARTICLE 19. OTHER MEASURES OF COOPERATION AND ASSISTANCE. Parties in accordance with their domestic law may provide cooperation and assistance in fulfilling definitive measures on assets linked to the commission of an unlawful act in any of the Parties.
ARTICLE 20 CUSTODY AND DISPOSAL OF GOODS. The State Party that has custody of the instruments or proceeds of crime, shall dispose of them in accordance with the provisions of its domestic law. To the extent permitted by its laws and the terms deemed appropriate, that State Party may share with the other confiscated property or the proceeds of sale.
ARTICLE 21. RESPONSIBILITY.
1. Liability for damages resulting from acts of their authorities in the execution of this Agreement shall be governed by the domestic law of each Party.
2. Party shall not be liable for damages that may result from acts of the authorities of the other Party in the formulation or execution of a request, in accordance with this Agreement.
ARTICLE 22 AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS AND CERTIFICATES. Documents from one of the Parties, to be submitted in the territory of the other Party, which are processed through the Central Authorities shall not require authentication or any other similar formality.
ARTICLE 23. DISPUTE.
1. Any dispute arising from a request shall be resolved by consultation between the central authorities.
2. Any dispute between the Parties relating to the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall be resolved by consultation between the Parties through diplomatic channels.
ARTICLE 24. COMPATIBILITY WITH OTHER TREATIES, AGREEMENTS OR OTHER FORMS OF COOPERATION OR ASSISTANCE.
1. Cooperation or assistance provided for in this Agreement shall not prevent each Party shall provide cooperation or assistance to the other under the provisions of other international instruments in force between them.
2. This Agreement shall not prevent the Parties the possibility of developing other forms of cooperation or assistance in accordance with their respective legal systems.
ARTICLE 25. ENTRY INTO FORCE AND DURATION.
1. The Parties shall notify through diplomatic channels, the fulfillment of the constitutional procedures required with respect to the entry into force of this Agreement, which will take place on the first day of the second month following the date of receipt of the last notification.
2. This Agreement shall remain in force indefinitely.
3. This Agreement may be terminated by either party at any time, through diplomatic note, which shall take effect six (6) months after the date of receipt by the other Party. The denunciation shall not affect ongoing requests for assistance.
Signed in Caracas on the twentieth day of February in 1998 in two copies in Spanish, both being equally valid and authentic.
For the Government of the Republic of Colombia, Maria Emma Mejia
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
For the Government of the Republic of Venezuela,
Miguel Ángel Burelli Rivas, Foreign Minister
The undersigned Head of the Legal Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs DECLARES
That this reproduction is faithful copy taken from the original text of the "Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela, signed in Caracas, the twenty (20) February in 1998 (1998), a document that is on file in the Legal Office of the Ministry ".
Given in Santa Fe de Bogota, DC, at sixteen (16) days of the month of June in 1998 (1998).
Chief Legal Office,
VARELA HECTOR ADOLFO Sintura.
EXECUTIVE BRANCH PUBLIC POWER: PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC
Santa Fe de Bogota, DC, 1o.
July 1998. Approved. Submit to the consideration of the honorable National Congress for constitutional purposes.
(Sgd.) Ernesto Samper Pizano
The Minister of Foreign Affairs,
(Sgd.) Camilo Reyes Rodriguez. DECREES
ARTICLE 1o. To approve the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela, signed in Caracas, the twenty (20) February in 1998 (1998).
. In accordance with the provisions of article 1. 7a Act. 1994, the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Government of the Republic of Venezuela, signed in Caracas, the twenty (20) February in 1998 (1998) , that article 1., this law is approved, it will force the Colombian State from the date on which the international link is perfect therefrom.
ARTICLE 3. This law applies from the date of publication.
The President of the honorable Senate,
MIGUEL VIDAL PINEDO.
The Secretary General of the honorable Senate of the Republic, Manuel Enríquez Rosero
The President of the honorable House of Representatives,
ARMANDO RAMOS Pomarico.
The Secretary General of the honorable House of Representatives,
GUSTAVO BUSTAMANTE Moratto.
REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA - NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
communicated and published.
Run, after review by the Constitutional Court, pursuant to Article 241-10 of the Constitution.
Given in Santa Fe de Bogota, DC, on 2 February 2000.
The Andres Pastrana Foreign Minister,
Guillermo Fernandez de Soto.
The Minister of Justice and Law,
TRUJILLO Romulo Gonzalez.