44th Plenary Meeting of the European Judicial Network
Riga/Latvia, June 28-30, 2015 - Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC, attended the 44th Plenary Meeting of the European Judicial Network, which took place in Riga/ Latvia on 28th - 30th of June 2015, under the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, gathering more than 120 participants.
SEEPAG network is part of the Vilnius Memorandum adopted in 2013 which envisages the need for enhancing the collaboration and improving the interconnection between the European Judicial Network and similar judicial cooperation networks in criminal matters.
During the meeting, the discussions also emphasized that the fight against transnational crime, and organized crime in particular, can only be tackled through global, coordinated action which requires close judicial cooperation between countries, including through efficiently working judicial networks.
Bucharest, June 10, 2015 - Through the European Judicial Training Network exchange programme, a group of 9 prosecutors from Federal Republic of Germany, Italian Republic, the Netherlands, Republic of Poland, Portuguese Republic, Romania and Kingdom of Spain, visited SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/Romania.
Mr. Robert Patrancus, Assistant Criminal Analyst, briefed the participants about how the SELEC works, its latest successful operations and projects, while Mrs. Sonia Schachter, Legal Assistant and SEEPAG Secretary, made an overview about the activities of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG and its efficient functionining under SELEC umbrella, mentioning the benefits of such law enforcement and judicial cooperation in the Southeast European region.
Bucharest, May 20, 2015 - A group of 6 prosecutors from Germany, Spain and Romania, visited SELEC Headquarters on 20th of May 2015, in the framework of an experience exchange programme in Romania coordinated by the European Judicial Training Network. The guests were welcomed by SELEC representatives: Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs, Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations, and Mrs. Sonia Schachter, Legal Assistant and SEEPAG Secretary.
During the meeting, the successful activities of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG functioning under SELEC auspices aiming to facilitate the judicial cooperation in trans-border crime investigations and cases were presented to the foreign magistrates. At the same time, a comprehensive presentation regardingthe SELEC’s main goals, successful operations and achievements was delivered to the audience.
26th Conference of SEEPAG on practical aspects of the mutual legal assistance related to the drug trafficking cases
Chisinau/ Republic of Moldova, April 28, 2015 - Under the Moldovan Chairmanship, the 26th Conference of SEEPAG having as a topic ”Practical aspects of the mutual legal assistance related to the drug trafficking cases” was held in Chisinau, on 28th of April 2015, with the participation of high level representatives from the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Moldova, namely Mr. Corneliu Gurin, Prosecutor General, Mr. Anatolie Pîrnãu, Head of the Department for International Legal Assistance and European Integration, and Mr. Viorel Morari, Head of the Department for leading the criminal investigation in the central authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Customs Service.
Besides the twelve SEEPAG Members that presented their drug trafficking cases, and shared best practices, expertise and experiences in investigating and prosecuting trans-border drug trafficking cases, also representatives of Kingdom of Belgium, Ukraine, European Judicial Network and Regional Cooperation Council participated in the event, with the purpose to enhance the cooperation at prosecutorial level.
Having in view the meeting’s theme, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC, made an extensive presentation of the SELEC’s activities and successful operations on drug trafficking that were carried out in 2014, joint investigations supported and awarded by SELEC.
During the one-day meeting, the Member States’ representatives discussed practical issues and problems encountered in investigating and prosecuting cases of drug trafficking which have transnational character, as well as issues related to controlled deliveries.Impressive statistical data was presented as regards the quantities of drug seized recently in SEEPAG Member States, which are in general transit countries for drug trafficking, part of the so-called “Balkan route”.
It was concluded that good law enforcement international cooperation is a pre-condition for good international legal assistance. Furthermore, direct communication with authorities competent for international legal assistance is crucial for successful mutual legal assistance requests (rogatory letters), by this being possible to establish exactly who is the authority to be addressed and what are formal and substance-matter requirements that must be met in the respective country, as the legal systems are different.
One important tool in this regard is the Controlled Delivery Manual developed and updated by SELEC, as it contains the legal framework of each Member State in this field, the special requirements and conditions for carrying out a controlled delivery and the competent authorities in each SELEC Member State. This Manual was recently updated and disseminated also for the usage of the prosecutors which are part of the SEEPAG network.
Bucharest, March 26, 2015 - SELEC Management welcomed today a Belgian prosecutorial delegation headed by Mr. Eric Bisschop, Deputy Federal Prosecutor of Belgium, who paid a working visit to the Center’s premises within the framework of the annual session of consultations organized in Bucharest between the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism and Federal Prosecutor’s Office of Belgium.
On this occasion, the quests were briefed about SELEC and SEEPAG activities. The modalities of the regional law enforcement cooperation and Belgian attendance to SEEPAG meetings were also discussed during the visit.
New SEEPAG Chairperson
In accordance with SEEPAG's General Guidelines, the Chairmanship was transferred from Hungary to Republic of Moldova, Mrs. Olga IONAª, Prosecutor within the International Legal Assistance and European Integration Department of the General Prosecutor's Office of Republic of Moldova, being the SEEPAG Chairperson for the year 2015. (more...)
43rd Plenary Meeting of the European Judicial Network
Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC, attended the 43rd Plenary Meeting of the European Judicial Network (EJN), organized in Rome/Italy on 19th – 21st of November 2014, under the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Over 100 delegates from 32 European countries and also Canada and USA, as well as representatives from European Commission, Council of the European Union, Center for International Legal Cooperation and SEEPAG took part in the event.
Considering that the fight against transnational crimes, and organized crime in particular, necessarily requires a transnational collaboration among those countries that are directly affected by these phenomena, the discussions of the meeting tackled the topic of EJN cooperation with third countries, with a focus on Western Balkans and Latin America.
On this occasion, Mrs. Maleeva briefed the participants about the successful activities carried out under SEEPAG, as an important judicial mechanism in the field of international cooperation for combating and prosecuting trans-border organized crimes.
25th SEEPAG Conference on legal instruments and mechanisms which can simplify and accelerate the criminal procedure
Budapest/ Hungary, October 28 - 29, 2014 - During the 25th SEEPAG Conference held in Budapest on 28th - 29th of October 2014 the SEEPAG Members and the representatives of partners met in order to discuss the “Legal instruments and mechanisms which can simplify and accelerate the criminal procedure”.
The meeting was opened by the SEEPAG Chairperson, Mrs. Eszter Maria Köpf and by Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, SELEC Director for Legal and Internal Affairs. Mr. Tibor Ibolya, the Chief Prosecutor of the Metropolitan Prosecution Service of Budapest, addressed the audience and presented the instruments provided by the Hungarian legislation for accelerating and/or simplifying the criminal procedure. Mr. Ibolya’s presentation focused on the oral arraignment, a procedure which proved to be very efficient and should be widely used. Mr. Ibolya also stated that the structure of the prosecution service was changed, as a new unit dealing with the cases where this procedure can be used was recently established.
Mrs. Maleeva welcomed the new participants and thanked the Hungarian Chairmanship for the excellent organization. She presented the latest developments in SELEC, namely that United States of America has become Operational Partner with SELEC, and that during the next Interpol General Assembly to be held at the beginning of November 2014, the Cooperation Agreement between SELEC and INTERPOL will be signed, by this INTERPOL becoming also the Operational Partner of SELEC.
With a view of enlarging the cooperation at prosecutorial level, SEEPAG continued inviting the representatives of its partners to its meetings, so that representatives from Kingdom of Belgium and Ukraine attended the 25th SEEPAG Conference and presented their legal systems and also the tools contained by their national legislation for simplifying the procedure in criminal investigations.
The representative of the Regional Cooperation Council mentioned the SEE 2020 Strategy and the 2014-2016 Strategy and Work Programme, and also the future activities and events planned by the RCC in the framework of these strategies.
Each of the SEEPAG Members presented the different instruments provided by their national legislation for accelerating and simplifying the criminal procedure, the institution of “plea bargaining” existing in the domestic laws of all the member states, being commonly used by practitioners, despite the inherent difficulties and having in view that the effective administration of justice and the right to a fair trial should be always balanced.
Besides the main topic, all the participants mentioned about the improvements that could be brought to the national legal framework in order to swift and simplify the proceedings, and also shared their views related to their cooperation with regard to the mutual legal assistance requests.
The General Guidelines of SEEPAG provide the yearly rotation of the Chairmanship by alphabetical order, therefore at this last meeting of SEEPAG in 2014, the Chairmanship was transferred to Republic of Moldova, following that Mrs. Olga Ionas, Prosecutor in the Department for International Legal Assistance and European Integration of the General Prosecutor’s Office, to be the SEEPAG Chairperson in the year 2015.
The next 26th SEEPAG Conference will focus on the practical aspects related to the drug trafficking investigations and is planned to be organized in Chisinau/Republic of Moldova, in the last week of April 2015.
Bucharest, October 15, 2014 - A group of 10 prosecutors from Bulgaria, France, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden paid a visit to SELEC premises, in the framework of an experience exchange programme conducted in Romania and coordinated by the European Judicial Training Network.
During the meeting, the foreign magistrates were briefed about SELEC and SEEPAG, in terms of organizations’ main goals, resources, how they are structured and managed, successful cases and achivements. It was also highlighted the importance of involving the prosecutors in criminal investigations and cases, this cooperation representing an efficient mechanism for combating trans-border criminality in the Southeast European region.
Bucharest, September 9, 2014 – A group of 17 US officers acting in the field of rule of law programs from countries/organizations from the Balkans and EUCOM visited SELEC Headquarters and were welcomed by the SELEC Management (Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General, Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations, and Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs). The US delegation was accompanied by Ms. Monica Custura, USDOJ/ OPDAT Legal Advisor at SELEC.
The guests were briefed about the activities of the Center and best practice examples of police and customs cooperation in the region, as well as about the activities of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG. The Liaison Officers at SELEC also attended the meeting for an open dialogue related to law enforcement cooperation, programs and common interests in the region.
Bucharest, September 2, 2014 – Through the European Judicial Training Network exchange programme, the Italian Prosecutor Giancarlo Ferrucci visited SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/ Romania, being welcomed by Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, SELEC Director for Legal and Internal Affairs.
The representatives from the Embassy of Italian Republic, Mr. Antonio Perrotta, Advisor to SELEC, and Mr. Ruggero Gianfelici, Liaison Officer, also attended the meeting jointly organized with the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania.
SEEPAG Secretariat briefed Mr. Ferrucci about the activities of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG and its successful functionining under SELEC umbrella, mentioning the benefits of such law enforcement and judicial cooperation in the Southeast European region.
OSCE Conference on „Enhancing Cross-border Co-operation of the Criminal Justice System in Combating Transnational Crime in the OSCE Area”
Vienna/ Austria, 17 - 18 June 2014 - Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, SELEC Director for Legal and Internal Affairs and SEEPAG representative, participated at the OSCE Annual Police Experts Meeting, held in Vienna, on 17th - 18th of June 2014.
The event addressed the topic of direct cross-border co-operation between police and other elements of the criminal justice system, such as border and customs agencies, prosecutors and judges, aiming to provide a platform for national authorities to exchange views as well as to improve the inter-ministerial mechanisms of cooperation in view of speeding up the joint responses against transnational criminal activities.
The meeting was dedicated to the different forms and possibilities of cross-border co-operation. On the basis of concrete examples, best practices of co-operation mechanisms involving law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and judges were presented and the challenges of such co-operation discussed.
Mrs. Maleeva delivered a comprehensive presentation about the successful functionining and activity of the prosecutors’ network SEEPAG, under SELEC auspices, mentioning the benefits of such law enforcement and judicial cooperation in the Southeast European region.
During the meeting, the excellent collaboration between SELEC and SEEPAG, aiming to obtain greater efficiency and optimization of the investigative activities, was presented as a good example of cooperation in order to prevent and combat trans-border criminality.
Bucharest, May 7, 2014 - On 7th of May 2014, through the European Judicial Training Network exchange programme, a group of eight prosecutors from Germany, Italy, Poland and Romania paid a working visit to the SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/ Romania being welcomed by the SELEC Management and by the SEEPAG Secretariat.
Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs, briefed the participants about SEEPAG, its activities, meetings, benefits and external relations, whilst Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations, informed about how the SELEC Center works, and about its latest successful operations and projects.
During the visit, it was highlighted the development of SEEPAG, as it is a more operational judicial network, its visibility being significantly increased, and the participation in its bi-annual conferences was enlarged by inviting representatives of the prosecution services of the SELEC’s partner states, as well as from Eurojust and European Judicial Network.
According to the previous practice, these kind of study visits organized in the framework of the European Judicial Training Network programme take place twice per year, so that the next visit is expected to take place in the Autumn of 2014, by this more practitioners having the opportunity to learn about SELEC and SEEPAG, their functioning in the Southeast European region for more than a decade.