European Judicial Network plenary session
The 45th plenary meeting of the European Judicial Network (EJN) took place in Luxembourg, in the period 18-20 November 2015, with the participation of EJN contact points from the EU Member States, EU associated and candidates’ countries, as well as representatives from Eurojust, the European Commission, the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU and partner organizations, including SEEPAG, which was represented by Mrs. Snejana MALEEVA, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs.
The main topic of the meeting was “Procedural rights in judicial cooperation in criminal matters”. Furthermore, practical matters on the so-called ABC Directives: Directive on the Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings (2010/64/EU), Directive on the Right to Information in Criminal Proceedings (2012/13/EU), and Directive on the right to have access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and the right to communicate upon arrest (2013/48/EU) were discussed during the session.
The European Judicial Network is a network of national contact points. The role of the network is to improve, facilitate and speed up international judicial cooperation and ensure the proper execution of mutual legal assistance and mutual recognition requests, as well as to assist in establishing direct contacts between competent judicial authorities.
Visit of the participants to the European Policy for Security and Defense Course
Bucharest, October 28, 2015 - In the framework of the training course organized by the Romanian National Internal Affairs College jointly with the European College of Security and Defense a group of 45 participants paid a visit to SELEC Headquarters being welcomed by Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, SELEC Director General.
The participants from EU Member States, EU institutions and third states included in European Neighborhood Policy were briefed about the work and achievements of SELEC, its mission and functioning, as well as about SEEPAG, its role and structure, during the meeting being underlined the fact that SELEC is a unique organization that brings together police, customs and the judiciary.
ICMPD Lebanon delegation’s visit
Bucharest, October 27, 2015 - A delegation from International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) Lebanon paid a study visit to SELEC Headquarters within the project “Integrated Border Management- IBM Lebanon”. The participants were provided with an extensive description of SELEC’s structure and activities, as well as about the involvement of the prosecutors from SEEPAG in the successful and efficient functioning of SELEC.
Having in view that the mandate of ICMPD is related to the migration phenomenon, the discussions were focused on the SELEC operations and results obtained in the framework of the Task Force Mirage on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration which is coordinated by Romania.
The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) is an international organization created with the purpose to promote innovative, comprehensive and sustainable migration policies and to function as a service exchange mechanism for governments and organizations.
Bucharest, September 15, 2015 - A GCC-Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs’ delegation consisting of 4 representatives (Brigadier Saqr Rashid Al Meraikhi, Director of the GCC-CICCD, Mubaruk Bin Hawial Al Merry, Adviser to the Director, Lt. Colonel Yaqoub Saleimeen Al Habsy, Liaison Officer from Sultanate of Oman, and Saeed Musleh AlDubiea, Head of the Arab and international cooperation unit) paid a visit to SELEC Headquarters on 15th of September 2015, being welcomed by Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General of SELEC, and Ms. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs.
GCC - Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs was set up in 2007 with its headquarters located in Doha, State of Qatar. The Center was established in recognition of the serious threats resulting from the illicit trafficking of drugs in the region and complying with the aspirations of the member states for upgrading and unifying their systems of information exchange.
The mission of the organization is to develop and enhance cooperation and coordination between member states in combating drugs and psychotropic substances and chemical precursors and related crimes. The member states are: United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait.
On this occasion, the guests were briefed about SELEC and SEEPAG successful activities, including discussions on future enhancement of the cooperation between the two organizations on fields of common interest.
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.