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Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003

Section 19: Seized evidence

65.This section deals with the treatment of any evidence that is seized under the procedures set out in sections 16 to 18. Article 6 of the MLAC requires the evidence to be sent directly to the court or authority which requested it. This is a departure from existing procedure established by the 1990 Act. It will speed up the provision of evidence by cutting out any central authority involvement once the evidence has been obtained. However, there will be circumstances when evidence may not be returned directly, (for example, when a country that is not party to the MLAC requires evidence to be returned via the central authority), and subsection (1) therefore provides that evidence may be sent directly to the requesting authority, or via the Secretary of State (or, in Scotland, the Lord Advocate). Subsection (3) provides that this section does not apply to evidence obtained by virtue of sections 16(2)(b) or (4)(b) or 18(2)(b) in an international joint investigation.

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