Practice Relating to Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings
Section E. Cooperation with international criminal tribunals
Georgia’s Law on Cooperation with the International Criminal Court (2003) states:
Article 31. Basic principle of cooperation.
1. Georgia shall cooperate with the International [Criminal] Court pursuant to Article 32 of this Law if it derives from the Court’s request and materials accompanying it that the act is within the jurisdiction of the Court.
Article 32. Forms of cooperation.
In accordance with this Chapter, cooperation with the International Court may include any procedural measure under the [1998 ICC] Statute and Georgian legislation that facilitates the investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Court as well as the seizure of the proceeds of crime. Such measures may include:
(a) The identification and whereabouts of persons;
(b) The taking of evidence, including witness testimony under oath, and the production and service of evidence necessary to the Court, including expert opinions and reports;
(c) The questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;
(d) The service of documents, including judgments;
(e) The temporary transfer of arrested persons;
(f) The identification of location of places or objects;
(g) Searches, seizures, and confiscations;
(h) The provision of records and documents, including judicial (courtroom) records and documents;
(i) The protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;
(j) The identification or seizure of proceeds, property and assets of material value and instrumentalities of crimes for the purpose of forfeiture;
(k) The facilitation of voluntary appearances before the Court by persons, witnesses and experts;
(l) The execution of exhumations, the examination of places and objects, including the uncovering and examination of graves;
(m) Any other type of assistance which is not prohibited by the legislation of Georgia and which will facilitate the investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Court.
The Law also states:
Article 5. Consultation with the International Court.
The Responsible Agency [Agency for Cooperation with the ICC within the Ministry of Justice] shall have the authority to consult with the International Court on matters related to the request as prescribed by the [1998 ICC] Statute. Consultation with the International Court shall be obligatory if the execution of the request:
a) contradicts fundamental legal principles of the State [of Georgia], as indicated in Article 93(3) of the Statute;
b) affects interests of national security;
c) jeopardizes the on-going investigation or prosecution of another criminal case;
d) violates domestic or diplomatic immunity.
Article 9. Form of a request from the International Court and conditions of its reception.
5. If the Responsible Agency considers that a request of the International Court is not acceptable or refuses to execute the request, it shall immediately inform the International Court that it considers the request unacceptable or that it refuses to execute the request, providing reasoning for either decision. Before a final refusal to execute the request, the Responsible Agency shall consult with the International Court.
Article 12. Protection of national security.
3. The Responsible Agency, on the motion of the National Security Council of Georgia, may refuse to execute the request of the International Court for cooperation if the cooperation sought may threaten national security.
Georgia’s Code of Criminal Procedure (1998), as amended in 2003, states:
Article 247 …
3. The questions of cooperation of Georgia with the ICC are regulated by the [1998 ICC Statute] and the [Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2003)] …
Article 252. Submitting Materials on Offences Committed on the Territory of Georgia by Foreign National or Stateless Persons.
If a foreign national or a stateless person who has committed an offence on the territory of Georgia has left the territory of Georgia, all the investigation material [gathered] in the initiated case shall be delivered to the Prosecutor-General of Georgia and/or to the national State agency responsible for matters concerning cooperation with the ICC in accordance with the legislation, who shall forward them … to the ICC for further criminal prosecution, or shall … [submit] a request for surrender of the accused to Georgian authorities.
The Code also states: “For the purpose of international cooperation in legal matters … ‘[s]urrender’ means the handing over of a person by a State to the International Criminal Court, pursuant to its [1998 ICC] Statute.”
Chapter III -Extradition
Article 32 - Competing requests