GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE
27. Application -
(1) This Part of this Act shall apply to all requests for assistance received under Parts, IV, V and VI.
(2) Parts IV,V, and VII shall apply to every request made by the ICC, whether the acts under investigation or subject to prosecution are alleged to have been committed before or after the date on which this Act comes into force.
(3) Part VI shall apply to the enforcement of every sentence, penalty or order of the ICC, whether the offence to which the sentence, penalty or order relates was committed before after the date on which this Act comes into force.
(4) Part VII shall apply to every investigation or sitting of the ICC whether the alleged offence or offence to which the investigation or sitting relates was committed before or after the date on which this Act comes into force.
28. Requests for assistance -
A request for assistance is a request made by the ICC to the Minister, in respect of an investigation or prosecution that the Prosecutor is conducting or proposing to conduct, in relation to a crime within the jurisdiction of the ICC, for:
(a) assistance in respect of any one or more of the following, namely –
(i) the provisional arrest, arrest, and surrender to the ICC of a person in relation to whom the ICC has issued an arrest warrant or given a judgment of conviction;
(ii) the identification and whereabouts of persons or the location of items;
(iii) the taking of evidence, including testimony under oath, and the production of evidence, including expert opinions and reports necessary to the ICC;
(iv) the questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;
(v) the service of documents, including judicial documents;
(vi) facilitating the voluntary appearance of persons (other than prisoners) as witnesses or experts before the ICC;
(vii) the temporary transfer of prisoners;
(viii) the examination of places or sites, including the exhumation and examination of gravesites;
(ix) the execution of searches and seizures;
(x) the provision of records and documents, including official records and documents;
(xi) the protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;
(xii) the identification, tracing and restraining, or seizure of proceeds of crimes for the purpose of eventual forfeiture, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties; and
(b) any other type of assistance that is not prohibited by the law of Samoa with a view to facilitating the investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC and the enforcement of orders of the ICC made after convictions for such crimes.
29. Making of requests -
(1) Subject to subsection (2), a request for assistance shall be made in writing, directly to the Minister.
(2) A request for provisional arrest under article 92 of the Statute or an urgent request for other forms of assistance under article 93 of the Statute may be made using any medium capable of delivering a written record.
(3) Where a request is made for supporting documents to be transmitted, this Act shall apply as if the documents so sent were the originals and a copy of such documents shall be receivable in evidence.
(4) If a request is made in accordance with subsection (2), it shall be followed by a written request under subsection (1).
30. Confidentiality of requests -
A request for assistance and any document or part of a document supporting the request shall be kept confidential by any person dealing with the request in whole or in part, except to the extent that disclosure is necessary for execution of the request.
31. Execution of requests -
A request for assistance shall be executed in the manner specified in the request, including following any procedure outlined therein and permitting the presence and participation of persons specified in the request in the execution process, unless execution in this manner is prohibited under the law of Samoa.
32. State or Diplomatic immunity -
(1) Any state or diplomatic immunity attaching to a person or premises by reason of a connection with a State Party to the ICC Statute does not prevent proceedings under this Act, in relation to that person.
(2) If the Minister is of the opinion that a request for provisional arrest, arrest and surrender or other assistance would require Samoa to act inconsistently with its obligations under international law with respect to the State or diplomatic immunity of a person or property of another state which is not a party to the Statute, the Minister shall consult with the ICC and request a determination as to whether article 98(1) of the Statute applies.
(3) If the Minister is of the opinion that a request for provisional arrest or arrest and surrender would require Samoa to act inconsistently with its obligations under an international agreement with a state which is not a party to the Statute pursuant to which the consent of the sending state is required to surrender a person of that State to the ICC, the Minister shall consult with the ICC and request a determination as to whether article 98(2) of the Statute applies.
33. Response to requests -
(1) The Minister shall notify the ICC without undue delay, of the person’s response to a request for assistance and the outcome of any action that has been taken to execute the request.
(2) Before deciding to postpone or refuse a request the Minister shall consult with the ICC to ascertain whether the assistance sought could be provided subject to conditions or at a later date or in an alternative manner.
(3) If the Minister decides, in accordance with the Statute and this Act, to refuse or postpone the assistance requested, in whole or in part, the notification to the ICC shall set out the reasons for the decision.
(4) If the request for assistance cannot be executed for any other reason, the Minister shall set out in the notification to the ICC, the reasons for the inability to execute the request.
34. Consultations -
(1) Where the Minister receives a request under this Part in relation to which the Minister identifies problems which may impede or prevent the execution of the request, the Minister shall consult with the Court without delay in order to resolve the matter.
(2) Problems identified under subsection (1) may include:
(a) insufficient information to execute the request;
(b) in the case of a request for surrender, the person sought cannot be located or that the investigation conducted has determined that the person in Samoa is clearly not the person named in the warrant; or
(c) the fact that execution of the request in its current form would require the requested State to breach a pre-existing treaty obligation undertaken with respect to another State.
(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.
(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.