Cooperation under procedures of national law

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Código do Processo Penal de Timor-Leste





Article 8
Cooperation between authorities

1. Every public authority is obliged to cooperate with the courts in the administration of criminal justice, as and when requested.

2. The cooperation referred to in the preceding sub-article takes precedence over any other service.





Article 53
Identifying a suspect

1. A police officer may request the identity of any person where there is suspicion that such a person is preparing to commit, or has either committed or taken part in, a criminal offence.

2. Where the person is not able to identify himself or herself, or refuses to do so, such a person shall be taken, with urbanity, to the nearest police station where the person shall be furnished with the available means required to render his or her identification possible.

3. Where required, the person may be obliged to subject himself or herself to tests to adequately establish his or her full identification, which do not offend human dignity, notably fingerprint, picture taking or body check.

4. Before twelve hours have elapsed; the person must be restored to full liberty, regardless of the success of the action taken, provided there is no ground for detention.

5. Acts performed in compliance with the preceding sub-articles are put to writing in the form of a report to be conveyed to the Public Prosecution Service forthwith.





Article 56
Urgent searches, checks and seizures

1. The police may conduct searches, checks or seizures without a court order:
(a) In the case of flagrante delicto in connection with a criminal offence that carries imprisonment; or
(b) where there is strong suspicion that items relating to a criminal offence are hidden and a delay in securing permission to retrieve them might lead to the modification, removal or destruction of such items or pose a danger to the safety of persons and goods.

2. A report of occurrence of any of the acts referred to in the preceding sub-article is prepared and either incorporated into the respective criminal case or conveyed to the Public Prosecution Service where the respective criminal proceeding is not initiated immediately, and the competent judicial authority shall assess the validity of the act.

3. Sub-article 56.2 does not apply to searches or checks in which no items relating to a criminal offence have been found.

4. Sub-article 56.1 does not apply to home searches.






Article 129
Inquiry rules

1. A deposition is a personal act and as such shall under no circumstances be given through a proxy.

2. A witnesses shall not be asked any suggestive or impertinent questions, or any other questions that might undermine the spontaneity and sincerity in which answers are to be given.

3. The enquiry shall deal primarily with the elements required to identify the witness, on his or her family relationships or common interests with the defendant, the aggrieved person or other witnesses, as well as on any other circumstances relevant to the assessment of the credibility of the deposition.

4. If required to take an oath, the witness shall take it and then give the deposition under the terms and within the limits established by law.

5. Where deemed advisable, a witness may be shown any briefs, documents related thereto, tools used for committing the criminal offence or any other items seized.

6. Where the witness presents any item or document that can serve as proof, mention of its presentation is made and such an item or document is to be properly kept or attached to the records.






Article 132
Concept of documentary evidence

Documentary evidence is considered to be a statement, sign or notation embodied in writing or any other technical means, under the terms of the criminal law.

Article 133
Time for presentation

1. The document shall be presented in the course of the enquiry or, where this is not feasible, until the adjournment of the hearing.

2. Where legally applicable, the adversarial principle shall be applied in either case, and the court may grant a time limit of no more than eight (8) days for that purpose.

3. Sub-articles 133.1 and 133.2 are correspondingly applicable to opinions by lawyers, legal advisers or paralegals, which may at all times be presented until the closure of the hearing.

4. The provisions of this article do not affect the procedural status of the defendant.

Article 134
Types of written documents

1. A written document may be either authentic or private.

2. An authentic document is a document issued, in accordance with legal procedures, by public authorities within the purview of their competencies or by a notary or other public servant who has been granted full faith and credit, within his or her sphere of activity.

3. Private is any other document that is construed to have been authenticated when confirmed by the parties before a notary under the terms of the notaries laws.

Article 135
Documents issued in a foreign country

1. An authentic or private document issued in a foreign country, in accordance with the relevant law of that country, is as trustworthy as any document of the same nature issued in Timor-Leste.

2. Notarisation may be required where a document has not been notarised under the terms of the procedural law and there are any reasoned doubts as to its authenticity or the authenticity of its certification.

Article 136
Probative value of mechanical reproductions

1. Photographic, film, phonographic or electronic reproductions and, in general, any mechanical reproductions of the facts or things reproduced can be admitted as proof only where such reproductions are not prohibited under the terms of the procedural law.

2. For the purposes of applying sub-article 136.1, any reproductions, particularly mechanical ones, made in compliance with Chapter III of this Title, are not considered to be prohibited.

Article 137
Reproduction of documents

Subject to article 136, where the original of any document cannot be attached to the records or kept therein, but solely its mechanical reproduction, the latter has the same probative value as that of the original if the reproduction has been identified with the original in that or another proceeding.

Article 138
Probative effect

1. An authentic or authenticated document fully attests to a fact said to have been performed by a public authority or official, as well as to the facts attested therein on the basis of a scrutiny by the documenting entity; however, mere personal judgements by the documenting person has only the value of an element subject to a free assessment by the judge.

2. If the document contains amended or truncated words or words written over erasures or interlineations, without proper reference to the fact, the judge shall determine the extent to which the external defects of the document either exclude or reduce its probative effect.

3. Private documents are freely assessed by the court.

Article 139

1. The probative effect of an authentic document may only be challenged on the basis of forgery.

2. A document is forged when any fact that has not actually occurred or any act that has not been actually performed is attested therein as having been subjected to a scrutiny by a public authority or official.

3. If the forgery is self-evident in the face of the external signs on the document, the latter may, on a discretionary basis or at request, be declared fake by the court.

4. Where the court only has reasoned suspicion that a particular document has been forged, the fact is reported to the Public Prosecution Service for legal purposes.






Article 143

Proof by means of inspection is intended for a direct perception of facts by the court or the authorities responsible for the investigation.

Article 144
Purpose of inspection

When deemed convenient, a court or a person conducting an investigation may, at his or her own discretion or at the request of the parties concerned, and with due regard, to the extent possible, for personal privacy, inspect items or persons in order to clarify any fact of relevance to the decision, and may, if deemed necessary, visit the crime scene or have the facts reconstructed.

Article 145
Intervention by the defendant or the aggrieved person

The defendant and the aggrieved person are notified of the date and time of the search and may, directly or through their counsels, provide the court with any clarifications it may need, or call the court’s attention to any facts deemed relevant to the settlement of the case.

Article 146
Intervention by experts

1. The court is allowed to be accompanied by a person qualified to explain the inspection and interpret the facts it intends to look at.

2. The expert shall be appointed in the decision ordering the inspection and shall attend the trial.

Article 147
Reporting an inspection

A report of the inspection containing all of the elements helpful in making an assessment and decision of the case is prepared, and pictures may be taken and attached thereto.

Article 148
Probative effect

The outcome of the inspection is assessed at the court’s discretion.






Article 168

1. A body search shall be carried out where there is a need to seize any items related to a crime or that may serve as a means of evidence, which someone is carrying or hiding on himself or herself.

2. A search is carried out, in a reserved place or a place that is not freely accessible to the public, where :

(a) items referred to in sub-article 168.1 are to be seized;
(b) any person is to be arrested.

Article 169

1. Except as otherwise stated in the law, the search of persons and items are authorised through an order issued by the judge, who may direct the search if he or she deems it advisable.

2. The search of persons and items are carried by the police bodies responsible for carrying out the inquiry or by a person specifically appointed by the Public Prosecution Service for that purpose.

3. The dignity and sense of decency of the person concerned shall be respected while the search is being carried out.

4. Articles 87 and 88 are correspondingly applicable and the person concerned must sign the report that is required to be prepared during the search.

5. A duplicate of the order authorising the search shall be provided to the person concerned in the act of executing the respective search.

6. In the case of urgency or danger posed by a delay in securing authorisation, police bodies may carry out a search without prior authorisation from the judicial authority, but they shall immediately report the fact to the latter.

Article 170
Search of houses

1. The search of an inhabited house or of one of its outbuildings may only be carried out between 6 am and 8 pm, except as otherwise provided in sub-article 171.2.

Article 171
Relevance of consent

1. An order issued by the judge authorising a search can be dispensed with where the person concerned consents, in writing, to the carrying out of the search.

2. Consent with regard to a home search may also cover the period of time stated in the previous article.


Article 172
Seizing items

1. Except as otherwise stated in the law, the seizure of an item relating to a criminal offence or that may serve as a means of evidence must be authorised by the judge.

2. In the case of urgency or danger posed by a delay in securing authorisation, police bodies may carry out a seizure without prior authorisation, but they shall immediately report the fact to the competent judge, with the aim of having the seizure validated.

3. Items seized are attached to the records or, where necessary, placed in the care of a trustee who may be the clerk of the section.

4. Where the object of the seizure is any hazardous or perishable item, the judge shall order that the necessary measures be taken to preserve or maintain such item or to destroy, sell or use it for a socially useful purpose, after an examination and evaluation report has been prepared.

5. Articles 87 and 88 are correspondingly applicable, and the person concerned must sign the report that is required to be prepared during the seizure.

Article 173
Disposal of seized items

1. Seized items are restituted to their rightful owners if such items are not to be declared forfeited to the State.

2. Restitution is ordered as soon as seizure for the purpose of proof becomes unnecessary or after a final decision has been handed down by the court.

3. The decision ordering restitution is notified to the owner of the items in question; and the items are declared forfeited to the State by the judge if they are not collected within 60 days of notification.

4.The public prosecutor shall be heard before the decision referred to in sub-article 173.3 is issued.






Article 174
Concept and prerequisites

1. Checks of persons, premises and items are used to examine any clues that may have been left behind in the course of committing a crime and that may indicate how and where it was committed, the person(s) who committed it or the person(s) upon whom it was inflicted.

2. As soon as a criminal offence is reported, action is to be taken in order to avoid, where feasible, the changing or effacing of clues before they are examined; and, if need be, the entry or movement of aliens into and across the crime scene, or any acts that might undermine the disclosure of the truth, may be prohibited.

3. Where the clues left behind by the perpetrator of a crime are found to have changed or effaced themselves, the state in which the persons, the premises and the items are found shall be described, seeking, where feasible, to reconstruct them and to describe how, when and why such clues have changed or effaced themselves.

4. Pending the arrival of the competent judicial authority in the crime scene, it is the responsibility of any law-enforcement agent to take the precautionary measures referred to in sub-article 174.2, where the obtaining of proof would otherwise be at immediate risk.

Article 175
Subjection to checks

1. Where a person wishes to refuse or obstruct any required check or refrains from handing over an item that is to be examined, he or she may be compelled to do so by a decision from the competent judicial authority.

2. A check that is likely to offend people’s sense of decency must respect the dignity and, to the extent possible, the sense of decency of the person undergoing it.

3. The check referred to in sub-article 175.2 may be attended only by the person conducting it and the competent judicial authority, and, where there is no danger posed by a delay in doing the check, the person to be checked may be accompanied by a person he or she trusts, and must be informed of the right to do so.

4. The check of a person is contingent upon authorisation from the competent judicial authority, except where the person concerned gives his or her consent.

Article 176
People at the crime scene

1. The competent judicial authority may determine that one or more persons do not leave the place where the check is to be conducted and, if need be, compel, with the assistance of a public force, those trying to leave the place, whose presence is required, to stay there for the duration of the check.

2. Sub-article 174.4 is correspondingly applicable.






Article 194
Pre-trial detention

1. In addition to meeting one of the requirements provided in article 183, the imposition of pre-trial detention depends cumulatively on the existence of the following prerequisites :

(a) strong indications that a crime punishable with imprisonment exceeding three years has been committed ;
(b) inadequacy or insufficiency of any other restrictive measure provided in the law.

2. Pre-trial detention may also be imposed on a person who unlawfully enters or remains on the national territory or against whom an extradition or expulsion process has been initiated, under the terms to be regulated by a specific law.

3. The imposition of pre-trial detention must, where feasible, be preceded or followed by hearing the defendant, allowing him or her to challenge the existence of the prerequisites of the said measure.

4. A person suffering from a mental disorder shall, where the requirements for the imposition of pre-trial detention are met and as long as such a disorder persists, be preventively admitted to a psychiatric hospital or other appropriate establishment, for the period of time deemed necessary for the imposition of such a provisional measure.

Article 195
Duration of pre-trial detention and other measures

1. Pre-trial detention may not exceed, from its beginning :

(a) one year without the presentation of an indictment ;
(b) two years without a first-instance conviction ;
(c) three years without a final conviction except that an appeal is filed over constitutionality matters, in which case the time limit is extended to three and a half years.

2. The abovementioned time limits are also increased by six months where the case proves to be exceptionally complex, and a substantiated order in this respect shall be issued by the judge.

3. Once the time limits mentioned in the previous sub-articles have elapsed, the defendant must be released immediately, except where the defendant is due to remain in prison on account of another case.

4. The restrictive measures provided in articles 192 and 193 shall lapse where, from the beginning of their execution, the time limits referred to in sub-article 195.1, increased twice as much, have expired.

Article 196
Review of prerequisites

1. The judge shall review the prerequisites that form the basis for maintaining the defendant under pre-trial detention every six months of the duration thereof, and the defendant and the public prosecutor may issue an opinion ten days before that period of time elapses.

2. During the investigation, the public prosecutor submits the records to the competent Judge ten days before the six-month period referred to in sub-article 196.1 elapses.

Article 197
Overriding pre-trial detention

1. If requested or at his or her own discretion, the judge may override pre-trial detention and determine that the defendant be released where it is established that pre-trial detention has been imposed in cases and conditions other than those provided in the law or where the circumstances that led to pre-trial detention have ceased to exist.

Article 198
Suspending pre-trial detention

1.Pre-trial detention may be suspended on grounds of serious disease, labour pains or pregnancy for such a period as deemed necessary by the judge, depending on the probable duration of these circumstances.

2.During suspension, pre-trial detention may be substituted for another restrictive measure that is generally consistent with the situation in question.

Article 199
Substituting pre-trial detention

1.In the situation provided in the sub-article 194.4 and also in the event that the defendant suffers from a serious mental disorder that does not manifest itself continually, the judge may, on an exceptional basis, order that the defendant be admitted to hospital, with or without police surveillance, in substitution for pre-trial detention.

2.Where there is a mitigation of the provisional requirements that have resulted in the imposition of pre-trial detention, the judge may substitute it for a lesser measure, after consultation with the public prosecutor and the defendant, on a discretionary basis or at request.

Article 200
Deducting pre-trial detention

1. The period of time in pre-trial detention spent by a defendant in a case where he or she is convicted is deducted from the term of imprisonment imposed.

2. Where a penalty of fine is imposed, pre-trial detention is deducted at the rate of one day of fine for, at least, one day of imprisonment.

Article 201
Crediting pre-trial detention

For procedural purposes, the period of time in detention spent by a defendant is credited towards the duration of pre-trial detention.

Article 202
Substituting restrictive measures

1.Sub-article 198.2 is correspondingly applicable to any other restrictive measure.

2.In case of failure to fulfil the obligations imposed by means of a restrictive measure, other measure(s) may be imposed, or the original measure substituted, depending on the circumstances.

Article 203
Lapse of restrictive measures

1. Restrictive measures lapse immediately after:

(a) case is dismissed for lack of indictment ;
(b) an order rejecting an indictment rendered final ;
(c) a sentence of acquittql is handed down, even tough an appeal has been lodged against it ;
(d) a convectiong decision is rendered final ;

2. Pre-trial detention as a measure shall also lapse immediately after a convicting sentence is handed down, even though an appeal has been lodged against it, where the imposed penalty does not exceed the period of time the defendant has spent in pre-trial detention.

3. The lapse of pre-trial detention shall result in the immediate release of the defendant.

4. If, in the case of paragraph 203.1(c), the defendant is convicted in connection with the same case, the latter may, as long as the convicting sentence is not rendered final, be subjected to any of the legally admissible restrictive measures.

5. Where the restrictive measure is bail and the defendant is convicted to imprisonment, the restrictive measure shall lapse only after the penalty begins to be executed.






Article 221
Arrest warrants

1. Subject to sub-article 220.2, an arrest other than in flagrante delicto may be carried out only through a warrant the duplicate of which shall be handed over to the person to be arrested.

2. An arrest warrant must contain :

(a) the identification of the person to be arrested and the capacity in which he or she is intervening in the case;
(b) brief indication of the grounds for the arrest and its purpose;
(c) identification and number of the case file regarding the arrest.

3. The warrant is written in triplicate, one of the duplicates being attached to the records once the arrest has been certified, the other kept in the files of the arresting entity, and the original handed over to the person to be arrested, in the act of his or her capture.

4. An arrest that is not in compliance with this and the preceding article is unlawful.

Article 222
Notifying an arrest

An arrest must be immediately notified to :

(a) the judge who has ordered the arrest if the arrested person is not immediately presented to the former ;
(b) the public prosecutor in any other cases.

Article 223
Releasing an a person under arrest

1. Any entity who has ordered an arrest or to whom the person under arrest has been delivered shall release the latter immediately :

(a) as soon as it becomes evident that the arrest was carried out in a situation of mistaken identity ;
(b) if it has been carried out outside the cases and the conditions provided in the law, namely in the cases where the 72-hour period to present the detainee has been exceeded ;
(c) as soon as such order becomes unnecessary.

2. Release is preceded by a writ if the arrest has been ordered by the public prosecutor or the judge and, in the case of another entity, through the subsequent preparation of a report to be attached to the case file.

3. Any release carried out on the initiative of any police entity, before the person under arrest has been presented to the judge, must be notified to the public prosecutor, under the penalty of disciplinary liability.

Rome Statute

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.

Article 93 Other forms of cooperation

1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:

(a) The identification and whereabouts of persons or the location of items;

(b) The taking of evidence, including testimony under oath, and the production of evidence, including expert opinions and reports necessary to the Court;

(c) The questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;

(d) The service of documents, including judicial documents;

(e) Facilitating the voluntary appearance of persons as witnesses or experts before the Court;

(f) The temporary transfer of persons as provided in paragraph 7;

(g) The examination of places or sites, including the exhumation and examination of grave sites;

(h) The execution of searches and seizures;

(i) The provision of records and documents, including official records and documents;

(j) The protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;

(k) The identification, tracing and freezing or seizure of proceeds, property and assets and instrumentalities of crimes for the purpose of eventual forfeiture, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties; and

(l) Any other type of assistance which is not prohibited by the law of the requested State, with a view to facilitating the investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.

Article 99 Execution of requests under articles 93 and 96

1. Requests for assistance shall be executed in accordance with the relevant procedure under the law of the requested State and, unless prohibited by such law, in the manner specified in the request, including following any procedure outlined therein or permitting persons specified in the request to be present at and assist in the execution process.