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Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

Section 59: SFO’s pre-investigation powers in relation to bribery and corruption: foreign officers etc.

423.Section 59 inserts a new section 2A into the Criminal Justice Act 1987. Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 grants the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) powers to require a person to answer questions, provide information or produce documents for the purposes of an investigation.

424.The new subsection 2A(1) extends these powers to allow their use where the Director believes certain offences may have taken place and is considering whether to start an investigation.

425.The new subsection 2A(2) ensures that the investigatory powers under section 2(2) and 2(3) Criminal Justice Act 1987 can only be exercised against an individual during the pre-investigative stage where the Director of the SFO considers it expedient to do so.

426.The new subsection 2A(3) provides adaptations to secure that section 2 works properly during the pre-investigation stage.

427.The new subsection 2A(4) extends the offence under s.2(16) so that (among other things) it covers the destruction of documents which a person knows or suspects are relevant to the making of a determination whether to start a formal investigation.

428.New subsection 2A(5) limits the circumstances under which the pre-investigative powers can be used to where the suspected conduct would constitute a corruption offence under section 108 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (bribery and corruption: foreign officers etc). New subsection 2A(6) defines corruption offence.

429.Subsection (3) ensures that the investigative powers set out in the new section 2A apply in Northern Ireland and Scotland, in addition to England and Wales.

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