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The Proceeds of Crime (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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Postponed confiscation orders

11.—(1) Where a court is acting under Article 8 but considers that it requires further information before—

(a)determining whether the defendant has benefited from any relevant criminal conduct or, as the case may be, from drug trafficking, or

(b)assessing the amount to be recovered in his case,

it may, for the purpose of enabling that information to be obtained, postpone making the determination or assessment for such period as it may specify.

(2) More than one postponement may be made under paragraph (1) in relation to the same case.

(3) Unless it is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances, the court shall not specify a period under paragraph (1) which—

(a)by itself; or

(b)where there have been one or more previous postponements under paragraph (1) or (4), when taken together with the earlier specified period or periods,

exceeds 6 months from the date of the conviction.

(4) Where the defendant appeals against his conviction, the court may, on that account—

(a)postpone making the determination or the assessment or both mentioned in paragraph (1) for such period as it may specify; or

(b)where it has already exercised its powers under this Article to postpone, extend the specified period.

(5) A postponement or extension under paragraph (1) or (4) may be made—

(a)on application by the defendant or the prosecution; or

(b)by the court of its own motion.

(6) Unless the court is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances, any postponement or extension under paragraph (4) shall not exceed the period ending 3 months after the date on which the appeal is determined or otherwise disposed of.

(7) Where the court exercises its power under paragraph (1) or (4), subject to Article 12(2), it may nevertheless proceed to sentence or to otherwise deal with the defendant in respect of—

(a)in a case of an offence of a relevant description, the offence or any other relevant criminal conduct; or

(b)in a case of a drug trafficking offence, the offence in respect of which the defendant is convicted by the court or any other such offence;

and where a court has so proceeded, in a case of an offence of a relevant description, Article 8 shall have effect as if an offence that will be taken into consideration in determining any sentence included an offence that has been so taken into account.

(8) In this Article “the date of conviction” means—

(a)the date on which the defendant was convicted; or

(b)where he was convicted in the same proceedings, but on different dates, of 2 or more offences which are comprised in relevant criminal conduct or, as the case may be, 2 or more drug trafficking offences, the date of the latest of those convictions;

and references to an appeal include references to an application under Article 146 of the [1981 NI 26.] Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (statement of case by magistrates' court).

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