Search and seizure - national proceedings


The Swedish Code of Judicial Procedure (Ds 1998:000)



Chapter 27 Seizure, secret wire-tapping, etc.

Section 1

Objects reasonably presumed important to a criminal investigation or taken from a person through a criminal act or subject to criminal forfeiture may be seized.

The provisions in this chapter concerning objects shall also apply to written documents to the extent nothing else is prescribed.

The coercive measures described in this chapter may be imposed only if the reasons for the measure outweigh the consequent intrusion or other detriment to the suspect or to another adverse interest. (SFS 1989:650)

Section 2

If it can be assumed that a document contains information that an official or other person may not disclose under testimony under Chapter 36, Section 5, the document may not be seized from the possession of that person or the person who is owed the duty of confidentiality. Nor may from the person of the suspect or his relative, as defined in Chapter 36, Section 3, written communications between the suspect and his relative or between such relative be seized, except if the issue concerns an offence in respect of which a less severe penalty than imprisonment for two years is not prescribed. (SFS 1964:166).

Section 3

A letter, telegram, or other dispatch in the possession of a postal or telecommunications undertaking may be seized only if the offence is subject to a penalty of imprisonment for one year or more and the dispatch would have been possible to seize from the addressee. (SFS 1993:602)

Section 4

Objects revealed in a lawful apprehension, arrest, or detention, or during a search of premises or of a person or a body examination, may be seized.

Objects otherwise found may be seized by order of the investigation leader or the prosecutor. If delay entails risk, a police officer may seize such objects without an order concerning such measures, except dispatches mentioned in Section 3.

A person, other than the investigation leader or the prosecutor, who executes a seizure shall promptly notify the investigation leader or the prosecutor, if the order was not made by either of them, who must then immediately determine whether the seizure shall remain in effect. (SFS 1993:1408)

Section 5
The court may order seizure of an object presented to the court or otherwise for seizure.

The issue of seizure may be entertained by the court upon request of the investigation leader or the prosecutor. Once the prosecution has been initiated, the court may also entertain such issue upon the request of the aggrieved person or on its own motion.

When an issue on seizure is raised before the court, a hearing concerning the matter shall take place as promptly as possible. The provisions in Chapter 24, Section 17, to the extent applicable, shall apply to such proceedings. If delay entails risk, the court may immediately issue a seizure order to remain effective until otherwise ordered.

Section 6

A person subjected to a seizure executed without a court order may request a court determination thereof. The court shall hold a hearing, as provided in Section 5, as promptly as possible and, in the absence of extraordinary impediment, no later than four days after receipt of the request. If the main hearing is scheduled to occur within one week of the receipt of the request, however, the hearing may be postponed until the main hearing unless the court considers that a special hearing should be held.

Section 7

If the prosecution has not yet been instituted at the time the court issues a seizure order or confirms a seizure already executed, the court shall set a time period for institution of the prosecution. The period shall not be set longer than necessary.

If the time mentioned in the first paragraph is insufficient the court may extend the time within prosecution must be instituted if an application to that effect is made before the expiration of the period. (SFS 1994:1412)

Section 8

The seizure shall be rescinded immediately if no prosecution has been instituted or no application for extension of time has been filed within the time stated in Section 7 of this chapter or if there is no longer any reason for the seizure.

A seizure order is rescinded by court order or, if the court has neither issued nor confirmed the seizure order, by the investigation leader or the prosecutor.

When the case is determined, the court shall determine whether the seizure shall remain in force. The court may, in conjunction with a judgment, also make an order concerning seizure.

Section 9

If there is reason to believe that a dispatch subject to seizure will be received at a transport undertaking, the court may order that the dispatch shall be held upon receipt, pending a determination of the issue of its seizure. A court may entertain such an issue only at the request of the investigation leader or the prosecutor.

An order shall state the period it will be effective, which may not exceed one month from the time the order is served upon the transport undertaking. The order shall forbid disclosure of the measure to the sender, the addressee, or any other person, without permission of the investigation leader or the prosecutor.

When a dispatch is received and held pursuant to court order, the transport undertaking shall promptly notify the requesting authority. That authority must immediately determine whether the dispatch shall be seized. (SFS 1993:602)

Section 10

The person executing the seizure shall take seized objects into custody. An object may be left with the possessor, however, if it can be done without risk or is otherwise appropriate. An object left with the possessor shall be sealed or marked as seized unless such measure appears unnecessary.

The person from whom an object has been seized may not transfer or otherwise dispose of the seized object contrary to the purpose of the seizure. The possessor may use an object not taken into custody or sealed unless otherwise ordered.

Any seized object shall be carefully preserved and strict supervision shall be maintained to ensure that the object is not exchanged, altered, or otherwise misused. (SFS 1981:828)

Section 11

When the person from whom seizure is made is not present at the seizure, he shall promptly be notified of the seizure and of the disposal of the seized property. When a dispatch in the possession of a transport undertaking is seized, the addressee, and also the sender if known, shall be notified as soon as notice can be given without impairing the inquiry. (SFS 1993:602)

Section 12

Only the court, the investigation leader, or the prosecutor may examine more closely a seized postal or telegraphic communication, account book, or another private document, or may open a letter or other closed documents: however, on the direction of the any of any of the named authorities a, the document may be inspected by an expert or another person in aid of the criminal inquiry. The person who executes the seizure shall seal the seized document, in the absence of authority to examine the document more closely.

A document referred to here shall be examined as soon as possible. If the addressee can be informed, in whole or in part, of the contents of a postal or telegraphic communication without impairing the investigation, a copy or extract of the document shall promptly be delivered to him.

Section 13

A record shall be kept of the seizure, stating its purpose and what the seizure revealed and describing sufficiently each seized object.

Upon request, the person from whom property was seized is entitled to a certificate of the seizure, stating the offence under investigation.

Section 14

The provision of Chapter 25, Section 8, concerning prohibition, shall apply correspondingly to seizure orders.

Section 14a

Objects reasonably presumed subject to forfeiture under the Penal Code, Chapter 36, Section 3, may be seized. The provisions in this chapter governing seizures shall correspondingly apply. (SFS 1975:403).

Section 15

To secure criminal inquiry, a building or room may be closed off, admission to a specific area may be prohibited, removal of a specific object may be prohibited, or any other suitable measure may be taken.

The provisions in this chapter governing seizures shall apply to the measures mentioned in this section, to the extent applicable.
Section 16 Repealed by (SFS 1989:650).

Section 17

The provisions governing seizures contained in any law or regulation shall supersede any inconsistent provision contained in this chapter.

Rome Statute

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:

(h) The execution of searches and seizures;