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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Section 102: Accused’s response to statement of information

171.The statement of information procedure is designed to provide a quick and effective method of identifying the extent of the accused’s benefit where there is agreement between the accused and the prosecutor, and of identifying areas of dispute where there is not. When the prosecutor serves a statement of information on the accused, the court shall require the accused to respond separately to every allegation in the statement, and to indicate to what extent each allegation is accepted. If proceedings are postponed under section 99, the accused’s response to the statement must be lodged within such period the court orders which shall be a period no later than six months before the end of the permitted period mentioned in section 99. Where an allegation is accepted by the accused, the court may treat the acceptance as conclusive as far as any matters to which it relates is concerned.

172.Where an allegation is challenged, the accused must provide full details of any matters relied on. The purpose of the procedure is to identify areas of dispute for the confiscation hearing, where evidence may be brought in relation to the disputed points by the prosecutor or the accused. Under subsection (4), if the accused fails to respond to an allegation, the accused may be treated as having accepted it. However, the accused is not to be treated as accepting any allegation that he has a criminal lifestyle or has benefited from general or particular criminal conduct because it is not thought appropriate that the accused’s silence should be conclusive of these matters.

173.Subsection (8) provides that, where the accused accepts an allegation that he has benefited from conduct, the acceptance is not admissible in any proceedings for an offence. The exemption is intended to encourage accused persons to be more forthcoming by preventing the admissions made from being used in a future prosecution against them or anybody else. Accused persons might otherwise be reluctant to admit benefit from criminal conduct which has not been the subject of a prosecution.

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