Unique provision - cooperation


Mutual Assistance in Criminal and Related Matters Act 2003


7. Foreign request for a virtual evidence-gathering order

(1) Where the Central Authority grants a request by a foreign State, or an international criminal tribunal, to order a person to give evidence by means of technology that permits the virtual presence of the person in the territory over which the foreign State has jurisdiction or in the International Criminal Tribunal, it may apply to a Judge in Chambers for an order for the taking of the virtual evidence of the person.

(2) Where there exist in Mauritius facilities for the taking of evidence by technology permitting the virtual presence of a person in the foreign State, the Judge in Chambers shall grant the application where he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that -

(a) a serious offence has been or may have been committed against the law of the foreign State or, as the case may be, an international criminal tribunal offence has been or may have been committed ; and
(b) evidence relating to an offence referred to in paragraph (a) may be given by a person believed to be in Mauritius.

(3) A virtual evidence-gathering order made under subsection (2) may require any person named therein to-

(a) attend at a time and place fixed by the Judge in Chambers to give evidence by means of the technology ;
(b) answer any question put to him by the foreign State, or the international criminal tribunal, or a person authorised by any of them in accordance with the law that applies to that State, or to the tribunal ; and
(c) produce at the time and place fixed by the Judge in Chambers, or exhibit, any article, including a document, by means of the technology.

(4) Where a witness gives evidence under subsection (3) -

(a) the evidence shall be given as though the witness were physically before the court, or tribunal, outside Mauritius for the purposes of the laws relating to evidence and procedure, but only to the extent that giving the evidence would not entail disclosure of information otherwise protected by any law on non-disclosure of information or privilege ;
(b) the law of Mauritius relating to perjury shall apply with respect to any evidence given by the person as though the person was a witness before a court in Mauritius.

(5) Where a witness refuses -

(a) to attend at the time and place fixed by the Judge in Chambers ; or
(b) to answer a question, or produce, or show a document or article as ordered by the Judge in Chambers under subsection (3),
he shall be in contempt of the court.

Rome Statute

Article 86 General obligation to cooperate

States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Statute, cooperate fully with the Court in its investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.