Arrest

Republic of Malta

Malta - Criminal Code 1854 (2014) EN

BOOK SECOND
LAWS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I
OF THE AUTHORITIES TO WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS ENTRUSTED

Title I Of the Powers and Duties of the Executive Police in respect of Criminal Prosecutions

Sub-title III POWERS OF ENTRY, SEARCH AND SEIZURE UNDER WARRANT

355E. (1) Saving the cases where the law provides otherwise, no police officer shall, without a warrant from a Magistrate, enter any premises, house, building or enclosure for the purpose of effecting any search therein or arresting any person who has committed or is reasonably suspected of having committed or of being about to commit any offence unless -

(a) the offence is a crime other than a crime punishable under the Press Act and there is imminent danger that the said person may escape or that the corpus delicti or the means of proving the offence will be suppressed; or

(b) the person is detected in the very act of committing a crime other than a crime punishable under the Press Act; or

(c) the intervention of the Police is necessary in order to prevent the commission of a crime other than a crime punishable under the Press Act; or

(d) the entry is necessary for the execution of any warrant or order issued by any other competent authority in the cases prescribed by law; or

(e) the arrest is for the purpose of apprehending a person who is unlawfully at large after escaping from lawful arrest or detention; or

(f) the entry is necessary for purposes of:
(i) executing the arrest, or ascertaining the whereabouts, of a person in respect of whom an alert has been entered in the Schengen Information System and there is an imminent danger that the said person may escape; or
(ii) discovering any property in respect of which an alert has been entered in the Schengen
Information System and there is an imminent danger that the property may be concealed, lost, damaged, altered or destroyed.

(2) The expression "enclosure" does not include any plot of land enclosed by rubble walls.

(3) A warrant may also be issued by a Magistrate as mentioned in subarticle (1) for the purpose of:
(a) effecting the arrest or ascertaining the whereabouts of a person in respect of whom an alert has been entered in the Schengen Information System; or
(b) discovering and seizing any property in respect of which an alert has been entered in the Schengen Information System.


355F. In cases where a police officer is empowered to enter into any of the places mentioned in the last preceding article, it shall be lawful for such officer to open or break any door or window, if, after giving notice of his office and object, he cannot otherwise obtain entry.


355G. (1) Any entry and search warrant issued under this Sub¬title and any search or seizure made under the provisions of this Sub-title shall not extend to legal privilege or to any excluded material.

(2) An entry and search warrant issued under this Sub-title shall be deemed to have been granted to the police officer or officers executing it.

(3) Without prejudice to the right of obtaining a new warrant for the same purpose, an entry and search warrant may not be executed after the lapse of one month from the date of issue.


355H. No warrant of entry and search may be executed after sunset unless the Magistrate has otherwise authorised in the warrant, or unless the executing Police officer has reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of the entry and search will be frustrated if the execution of the warrant is delayed.


355I. The executing officer shall hand over a copy of the warrant to the person occupying and present at the place searched or to any other person who appears to the said officer to be in charge of the same place and who happens to be present during the search. If there is no person present who appears to the executing officer to be in charge of the premises the copy of the warrant shall be left in an easily visible place on the premises.


355J. A search under a warrant may only be a search to the extent required for the purpose for which the warrant was issued:
Provided that if, in the course of the search, offences other than the offence or offences mentioned in the warrant are discovered, the search may extend to the extent required for the purposes of such other offences.

BOOK SECOND
LAWS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I
OF THE AUTHORITIES TO WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS ENTRUSTED

Title I Of the Powers and Duties of the Executive Police in respect of Criminal Prosecutions

Sub-title VI
POWERS OF ARREST AND DETENTION

355V. Where there are lawful grounds for the arrest of a person, the Police may request a warrant of arrest from a Magistrate, unless in accordance with any provision of law the arrest in question may be made without a warrant.


355W. (1) Any person not being a police officer may arrest without warrant anyone who is in the act of committing or has just committed any crime concerning the peace and honour of families and morals, any crime of wilful homicide or bodily harm, or any crime of theft or of wilful unlawful entry or damage to property.

(2) The person making any arrest under subarticle (1) shall without delay inform the Police of the fact of the arrest and shall exercise such power only until it is strictly necessary for the Police to take over the person arrested.


355X.(1) Any police officer may arrest without warrant anyone who is in the act of committing or has just committed a crime punishable with imprisonment, or whom he reasonably suspects to be about to commit or of having just committed such a crime.

(2) Any police officer may also proceed to the arrest of any person in respect of whom an alert for his arrest has been entered in the Schengen Information System.

(3) Any police officer may also proceed to the arrest of any person who knowingly, or after due warning, obstructs or disturbs him in the execution of his duties, or disobeys his lawful orders.

(4) The powers mentioned in subarticles (1), (2) and (3) shall only be exercised until it is strictly necessary for the police officer to convey the person arrested to a police station and deliver him to a superior officer not below the rank of sergeant.

(5) The provisions of this article shall not apply to any crime punishable under the Press Act.


355XX. Any police officer may detain without warrant any person who is indicated in an alert in the Schengen Information System as a missing person or a person who, for his own protection or in order to prevent threats, needs temporarily to be placed under police protection.


355Y. (1) In the case of contraventions, or of crimes not subject to the punishment of imprisonment, excepting always the crimes punishable under the Press Act, it shall be lawful for the Police to proceed to the arrest of any person without a warrant, provided that -
(a) the person be detected in the very act of committing the offence; or
(b) the arrest be necessary to prevent the commission of an offence in respect of which the Police may institute criminal proceedings without the complaint of the injured party; and
(c) in either of the cases mentioned in paragraphs (a) or (b) one of the conditions mentioned in article 355Z is satisfied.

(2) A person shall be deemed to be detected in the very act of committing an offence, if he is caught, either in the act of committing the offence, or while being pursued by the injured party or by the public hue and cry.

BOOK SECOND
LAWS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I
OF THE AUTHORITIES TO WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS ENTRUSTED

Title I Of the Powers and Duties of the Executive Police in respect of Criminal Prosecutions

Sub-title VI
POWERS OF ARREST AND DETENTION

355Z. The general arrest conditions are -

(a) that the identity of the person is unknown or cannot be
readily ascertained by the police officer; or

(b) there is a doubt whether the particulars furnished by the person are true; or

(c) that the person has not furnished a satisfactory address for service, or there are doubts about whether the address provided is satisfactory for service, or that at least some other person may according to law receive service on his behalf at the address given; or

(d) that the arrest is necessary to prevent the person -
(i) causing physical harm to himself or to any other person; or
(ii) suffering physical injury; or
(iii) causing loss or damage to property; or
(iv) committing an offence against public decency; or
(v) causing an unlawful obstruction on any public road; or

(e) that the police officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary to protect a child or any other vulnerable person.


355AB. The officer or any other person authorised by law making an arrest shall not use any harshness, bond or other means of restraint unless indispensably required to secure, or rendered necessary by the insubordination of the person arrested.


355AC. (1) When a person is arrested, the arrest is not lawful unless the person arrested is informed that he is under arrest, even though the arrest may be obvious.

(2) The arrest is not lawful unless the person arrested is informed at the time of his arrest or detention, in a language that he understands, of the reasons for his arrest or detention:
Provided that if an interpreter is necessary and is not readily available or if it is otherwise impracticable to comply with the provisions of this sub-article at the time of the person’s arrest or detention, such provisions shall be complied with as soon as practicable:
Provided further that, in any case, where the arrest is made by a private person under the provisions of article 355V the giving of the information may be delayed until the person arrested is taken over by the Police.


355AD. (1) Where, in the course of an investigation, a person attends voluntarily at, or accompanies a police officer to, a police station or office, that person shall be free to leave at any time, unless and until he is informed that he is under arrest.

(2) Where an inspector of Police has a reasonable suspicion that the person who attended voluntarily at the police station or office may have committed an offence subject to imprisonment, he may arrest such person forthwith without warrant and inform him accordingly. The time of the arrest shall be immediately recorded and immediate notice thereof shall be given to a Magistrate.

(3) The Police may, orally or by a notice in writing, require any person to attend at the police station or other place indicated by them to give such information and to produce such documents as the Police may require and if that person so attends at the police station or place indicated to him he shall be deemed to have attended that police station or other place voluntarily. The written notice referred to in this subarticle shall contain a warning of the consequences of failure to comply, as are mentioned in subarticle (5).

(4) Any person who is considered by the police to be in possession of any information or document relevant to any investigation has a legal obligation to comply with a request from the police to attend at a police station to give as required any such information or document:
Provided that no person is bound to supply any information or document which tends to incriminate him.

(5) A person who fails to comply with a notice in writing as is referred to in subarticle (3) or who fails, upon being so requested, even if only orally, to accompany voluntarily a police officer to a police station or other place indicated by the police officer for any purpose mentioned in the said subarticle
(3) shall be guilty of a contravention punishable with detention and shall be liable to be arrested immediately under warrant.

(6) The notice mentioned in subarticle (3) may be served with urgency in cases where the interests of justice so require.

(7) A person who attends voluntarily as mentioned in subarticle (3) may be kept apart from any other person, but shall not be kept in any place normally used for the detention of arrested persons.


355AE. (1) When a police officer arrests a person at a place other than a police station the arrested person shall be taken to the nearest police station and where the arresting officer is an officer below the rank of inspector he shall forthwith report the arrest to an officer not below the rank of inspector. In any case the inspector or officer in charge of that police station shall also be informed.

(2) Where there are grounds for the continuation of the arrest the person arrested shall be taken to a designated police station as soon as practicable and in no case later than six hours from the time of the arrest.

(3) The taking of an arrested person to a police station in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this article may be delayed if that person’s presence is required elsewhere for the purpose of any investigation which may be necessary.

(4) Where a person is released following arrest the police officer ordering release shall record in writing the fact stating reasons.


355AF. (1) A police officer may immediately search the person arrested:
(a) if the police officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the arrested person may present a danger to himself or others; or
(b) for anything which the arrested person might use to assist him to escape from custody; or
(c) for anything which might be evidence related to an offence.

(2) The provisions of article 353 of this Code shall apply to searches under this article.

BOOK SECOND
LAWS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I
OF THE AUTHORITIES TO WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS ENTRUSTED

Title I Of the Powers and Duties of the Executive Police in respect of Criminal Prosecutions

Sub-title VII
WARRANTS

355AG. (1) Saving the provisions of article 666, it is the duty of the Police to execute any warrant or order of arrest or search that may, in the cases prescribed by law, be issued or given by any other competent authority.

(2) Any such warrant or order shall set forth the nature of the offence, the name of the person, if known, by whom the offence is alleged to have been committed and, in the case of a search warrant, it shall indicate the place where the search is to be carried out.

(3) Once a warrant or order of arrest or search has been issued any police officer may execute the warrant or order.


355AH. (1) Whenever according to law the carrying out of an act by the police requires the issue of a warrant by a Magistrate a police officer may apply in person to a Magistrate requesting the issue of the appropriate warrant stating the grounds for the request and giving the Magistrate all such information that will enable the Magistrate to decide on the request. Before deciding whether to issue the warrant the Magistrate may require the police officer to confirm on oath the information supplied by him and the warrant shall only be issued upon the Magistrate being satisfied that sufficient grounds for the issue of the warrant exist.

(2) In cases of urgency, the request for the issue of the warrant and the warrant may be communicated even by facsimile:
Provided that, as soon as practicable, the original warrant shall be delivered for record purposes.

(3) Any warrant issued by a Magistrate shall be issued in favour of the Commissioner of Police and may be executed by any police officer.

(4) Whenever a police officer requests the issue of a warrant of arrest or search from a Magistrate in accordance with the provisions of this Code and the Magistrate refuses to issue the warrant the Police may request the issue of the same warrant from a Judge who ordinarily sits in the Criminal Court.


355AI. Except in the case of a warrant transmitted by facsimile, any warrant shall be drawn upon in three signed copies one of which shall be retained by the Magistrate while the others shall be delivered to the police officer who shall retain one copy for his records and shall cause the other one to be served on the person entitled to be served with it:
Provided that where a police officer comes upon a person against whom a warrant of arrest has been issued and, although not in possession of a copy of the warrant, the police officer knows that the warrant has been so issued, the officer shall arrest that person and shall serve him with the copy of the warrant at the first opportunity.


355AJ. (1) Where any person is arrested, whether with or without a warrant, the arresting police officer or his superior shall, as soon as practicable and unless the person arrested has been released within six hours from arrest, inform a Magistrate, giving all details as to time and place where the person is being held.

(2) The Magistrate may order that the person arrested be transferred to another place with immediate effect.

(3) Any person arrested in pursuance of any provision of this Code and who has not been brought before a court within forty-eight hours of his arrest shall be released.


355AK. Any order of a competent authority touching on the rights of the individual arising from the provisions of this sub-title shall be carried out without delay, and for such purpose may be communicated even by facsimile or telephone, under such conditions as to guarantee its authenticity.

BOOK SECOND
LAWS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I
OF THE AUTHORITIES TO WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS ENTRUSTED

Title II Of the Court of Magistrates

GENERAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO THE COURT OF MAGISTRATES WHETHER AS COURT OF CRIMINAL JUDICATURE OR AS COURT OF CRIMINAL INQUIRY

412A. (1) When the person charged or accused brought before the Court of Magistrates, whether as a court of criminal judicature or as a court of criminal inquiry, is not in custody the Police may thereupon or at any stage of the proceedings thereafter request the court to impose conditions upon the person charged or accused in order to ensure the appearance of that person at the proceedings on the appointed time and place or to otherwise ensure that that person will not in any way unlawfully interfere in the correct administration of justice in those proceedings.

(2) The court may require the giving of sufficient security by the person charged or accused by the mere recognizance of the same person charged or accused in order to ensure that he abides by the conditions imposed upon him by the court and the provisions of articles 576 and 584, shall apply to the security given under this subarticle.

(3) The sum given by way of security shall be forfeited to the Government of Malta and a warrant of arrest shall be issued against the person charged or accused where that person fails to observe any of the conditions imposed by the court in pursuance of the provisions of this article and in any of the other circumstances mentioned in article 579 provided that the provisions of this subarticle shall not apply where the court considers that the infringement of the condition imposed by the court is not of serious consequence.

BOOK SECOND
LAWS OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I
OF THE AUTHORITIES TO WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IS ENTRUSTED

Title IV Of the Criminal Court

443. (1) On the day and at the time appointed for the hearing of the cause or of any question incidental thereto, the accused shall be put, without any restraint, in the place appointed for the purpose.

(2) If the accused is not in custody, he shall be required to appear by means of a summons, and, in case of his non-appearance, an order shall be made for his arrest; if he is in custody, he shall be brought to the said place in such manner as may be necessary in order to prevent his escape.

(3) If the accused attempts acts of violence, all necessary measures shall be taken to prevent such acts.

Rome Statute

Article 87 Requests for cooperation: general provisions

1.

(a) The Court shall have the authority to make requests to States Parties for cooperation. The requests shall be transmitted through the diplomatic channel or any other appropriate channel as may be designated by each State Party upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. Subsequent changes to the designation shall be made by each State Party in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

(b) When appropriate, without prejudice to the provisions of subparagraph (a), requests may also be transmitted through the International Criminal Police Organization or any appropriate regional organization.

2. Requests for cooperation and any documents supporting the request shall either be in or be accompanied by a translation into an official language of the requested State or one of the working languages of the Court, in accordance with the choice made by that State upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. Subsequent changes to this choice shall be made in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

3. The requested State shall keep confidential a request for cooperation and any documents supporting the request, except to the extent that the disclosure is necessary for execution of the request.

4. In relation to any request for assistance presented under this Part, the Court may take such measures, including measures related to the protection of information, as may be necessary to ensure the safety or physical or psychological well-being of any victims, potential witnesses and their families. The Court may request that any information that is made available under this Part shall be provided and handled in a manner that protects the safety and physical or psychological well-being of any victims, potential witnesses and their families.

5.

(a) The Court may invite any State not party to this Statute to provide assistance under this Part on the basis of an ad hoc arrangement, an agreement with such State or any other appropriate basis.

(b) Where a State not party to this Statute, which has entered into an ad hoc arrangement or an agreement with the Court, fails to cooperate with requests pursuant to any such arrangement or agreement, the Court may so inform the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, the Security Council.

6. The Court may ask any intergovernmental organization to provide information or documents. The Court may also ask for other forms of cooperation and assistance which may be agreed upon with such an organization and which are in accordance with its competence or mandate.

7. Where a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court contrary to the provisions of this Statute, thereby preventing the Court from exercising its functions and powers under this Statute, the Court may make a finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security Council.

Article 88 Availability of procedures under national law

States Parties shall ensure that there are procedures available under their national law for all of the forms of cooperation which are specified under this Part.

Article 89 Surrender of persons to the Court

1. The Court may transmit a request for the arrest and surrender of a person, together with the material supporting the request outlined in article 91, to any State on the territory of which that person may be found and shall request the cooperation of that State in the arrest and surrender of such a person. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and the procedure under their national law, comply with requests for arrest and surrender.

2. Where the person sought for surrender brings a challenge before a national court on the basis of the principle of ne bis in idem as provided in article 20, the requested State shall immediately consult with the Court to determine if there has been a relevant ruling on admissibility. If the case is admissible, the requested State shall proceed with the execution of the request. If an admissibility ruling is pending, the requested State may postpone the execution of the request for surrender of the person until the Court makes a determination on admissibility.

3.

(a) A State Party shall authorize, in accordance with its national procedural law, transportation through its territory of a person being surrendered to the Court by another State, except where transit through that State would impede or delay the surrender.

(b) A request by the Court for transit shall be transmitted in accordance with article 87. The request for transit shall contain:

(i) A description of the person being transported;

(ii) A brief statement of the facts of the case and their legal characterization; and

(iii) The warrant for arrest and surrender;

(c) A person being transported shall be detained in custody during the period of transit;

(d) No authorization is required if the person is transported by air and no landing is scheduled on the territory of the transit State;

(e) If an unscheduled landing occurs on the territory of the transit State, that State may require a request for transit from the Court as provided for in subparagraph (b). The transit State shall detain the person being transported until the request for transit is received and the transit is effected, provided that detention for purposes of this subparagraph may not be extended beyond 96 hours from the unscheduled landing unless the request is received within that time.

4. If the person sought is being proceeded against or is serving a sentence in the requested State for a crime different from that for which surrender to the Court is sought, the requested State, after making its decision to grant the request, shall consult with the Court.

Article 90 Competing requests

1. A State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a person under article 89 shall, if it also receives a request from any other State for the extradition of the same person for the same conduct which forms the basis of the crime for which the Court seeks the person's surrender, notify the Court and the requesting State of that fact.

2. Where the requesting State is a State Party, the requested State shall give priority to the request from the Court if:

(a) The Court has, pursuant to article 18 or 19, made a determination that the case in respect of which surrender is sought is admissible and that determination takes into account the investigation or prosecution conducted by the requesting State in respect of its request for extradition; or

(b) The Court makes the determination described in subparagraph (a) pursuant to the requested State's notification under paragraph 1.

3. Where a determination under paragraph 2 (a) has not been made, the requested State may, at its discretion, pending the determination of the Court under paragraph 2 (b), proceed to deal with the request for extradition from the requesting State but shall not extradite the person until the Court has determined that the case is inadmissible. The Court's determination shall be made on an expedited basis.

4. If the requesting State is a State not Party to this Statute the requested State, if it is not under an international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State, shall give priority to the request for surrender from the Court, if the Court has determined that the case is admissible.

5. Where a case under paragraph 4 has not been determined to be admissible by the Court, the requested State may, at its discretion, proceed to deal with the request for extradition from the requesting State.

6. In cases where paragraph 4 applies except that the requested State is under an existing international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State not Party to this Statute, the requested State shall determine whether to surrender the person to the Court or extradite the person to the requesting State. In making its decision, the requested State shall consider all the relevant factors, including but not limited to:

(a) The respective dates of the requests;

(b) The interests of the requesting State including, where relevant, whether the crime was committed in its territory and the nationality of the victims and of the person sought; and

(c) The possibility of subsequent surrender between the Court and the requesting State.

7. Where a State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a person also receives a request from any State for the extradition of the same person for conduct other than that which constitutes the crime for which the Court seeks the person's surrender:

(a) The requested State shall, if it is not under an existing international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State, give priority to the request from the Court;

(b) The requested State shall, if it is under an existing international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State, determine whether to surrender the person to the Court or to extradite the person to the requesting State. In making its decision, the requested State shall consider all the relevant factors, including but not limited to those set out in paragraph 6, but shall give special consideration to the relative nature and gravity of the conduct in question.

Where pursuant to a notification under this article, the Court has determined a case to be inadmissible, and subsequently extradition to the requesting State is refused, the requested State shall notify the Court of this decision.

Article 91 Contents of request for arrest and surrender

1. A request for arrest and surrender shall be made in writing. In urgent cases, a request may be made by any medium capable of delivering a written record, provided that the request shall be confirmed through the channel provided for in article 87, paragraph 1 (a).

2. In the case of a request for the arrest and surrender of a person for whom a warrant of arrest has been issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 58, the request shall contain or be supported by:

(a) Information describing the person sought, sufficient to identify the person, and information as to that person's probable location;

(b) A copy of the warrant of arrest; and

(c) Such documents, statements or information as may be necessary to meet the requirements for the surrender process in the requested State, except that those requirements should not be more burdensome than those applicable to requests for extradition pursuant to treaties or arrangements between the requested State and other States and should, if possible, be less burdensome, taking into account the distinct nature of the Court.

3. In the case of a request for the arrest and surrender of a person already convicted, the request shall contain or be supported by:

(a) A copy of any warrant of arrest for that person;

(b) A copy of the judgement of conviction;

(c) Information to demonstrate that the person sought is the one referred to in the judgement of conviction; and

(d) If the person sought has been sentenced, a copy of the sentence imposed and, in the case of a sentence for imprisonment, a statement of any time already served and the time remaining to be served.

4. Upon the request of the Court, a State Party shall consult with the Court, either generally or with respect to a specific matter, regarding any requirements under its national law that may apply under paragraph 2 (c). During the consultations, the State Party shall advise the Court of the specific requirements of its national law.

Article 92 Provisional arrest

1. In urgent cases, the Court may request the provisional arrest of the person sought, pending presentation of the request for surrender and the documents supporting the request as specified in article 91.

2. The request for provisional arrest shall be made by any medium capable of delivering a written record and shall contain:

(a) Information describing the person sought, sufficient to identify the person, and information as to that person's probable location;

(b) A concise statement of the crimes for which the person's arrest is sought and of the facts which are alleged to constitute those crimes, including, where possible, the date and location of the crime;

(c) A statement of the existence of a warrant of arrest or a judgement of conviction against the person sought; and

(d) A statement that a request for surrender of the person sought will follow.

3. A person who is provisionally arrested may be released from custody if the requested State has not received the request for surrender and the documents supporting the request as specified in article 91 within the time limits specified in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. However, the person may consent to surrender before the expiration of this period if permitted by the law of the requested State. In such a case, the requested State shall proceed to surrender the person to the Court as soon as possible.

4. The fact that the person sought has been released from custody pursuant to paragraph 3 shall not prejudice the subsequent arrest and surrender of that person if the request for surrender and the documents supporting the request are delivered at a later date.