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Fiches Belges: Hungary

Interception, recording and transcription of telecommunications (101)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Hungary

Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

Yes, it is possible. In order to recognize the identity, locate or arrest the offender or to find means of evidence, after the investigation is ordered until the documents thereof are presented, subject to a judicial permit, the prosecutor and the investigating authority may - without informing the person concerned and in the frame of covert data gathering - learn and record with a technical device the contents of communications made by way of a telephone line or other means of communication. (See Paragraph (1) b) of Section 200 of Act No XIX of 1998 on Criminal Proceedings) Telecommunication may be intercepted and recorded if: a) the criminal offence was committed intentionally and punishable with imprisonment of 5 years or more, b) the criminal offence was committed in a businesslike manner or as a part of a criminal association and punishable with imprisonment of up to 3 years, c) the following criminal offences were committed: violation of freedom of conscience and religion and abuse of authority, d) the crime committed is punishable with imprisonment of up to 3 years regarding the following crimes: trafficking in human beings, misuse of illegal pornographic material, pandering, people smuggling, harbouring a criminal, bribery, bribery regarding international relations, damaging the environment, damaging nature, violation of the rules of waste management, e) the criminal offence of misuse of classified data was committed, f) an attempt of or preparations – if preparation is penalized by the law - for a criminal offence defined in Subsections a)-e). The subject of covert data gathering may primarily be the suspect or the person who may be suspected of having committed the criminal offence based on the available data of the investigation. (See Paragraph (1) of Section 202 of Act No XIX of 1998 on Criminal Proceedings) Even in the cases specified above, covert data gathering may only be conducted if obtaining evidence by other means reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried or would involve unreasonable difficulties, and there is probable cause to believe that evidence can be obtained by covert data gathering. (See Paragraph (6) of Section 202 of Act No XIX of 1998 on Criminal Proceedings)

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Hungary

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

European Convention of 20 April 1959 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters; Convention of 29 May 2000 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Hungary

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The Office of the Prosecutor General shall receive the MLA request for interception of telecommunication.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

The measure shall be authorised by a designated judge at the Budapest-Capital Regional Court in Hungary (upon the prosecutor's motion), and after that it is executed by the investigating authority.

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Hungary

Accepted languages for the request/decision

A translation of the request for assistance and documents annexed thereto into either Hungarian, or any of the official languages of the Council of Europe, will be required, if they are not drawn up in these languages.

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Hungary

Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

A designated judge at the Budapest-Capital Regional Court shall decide on the prosecutor's motion for covert data gathering within 72 hours following its submission. The interception may be permitted for a maximum period of 90 days, and upon a repeated motion this period may be extended for a further 90 days on one occasion. (See Paragraphs (4)-(5) of Section 203 of Act No XIX of 1998 on Criminal Proceedings)

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Hungary

a. Special requirements

A request for interception must also be accompanied by an authorisation for interception that has to be obtained in compliance with the law of the requesting state. The MLA request may only be fulfilled if the person affected by the covert data gathering is staying in Hungary or he is on the territory of a third Member State but the cognition, registration of the communication or data requires the assistance of the providers of electronic communications services operating in the territory of Hungary, or the technical equipment allowing that is in the territory of Hungary. (See Sections 68 and 69 of Act No CLXXX of 2012 on Cooperation in Criminal Matters with the Member States of the European Union)

b. Other useful information

The request for interception of telecommunication shall contain, in particular: - the name of the prosecutorial or investigating authority conducting the investigation, the date when the investigation was launched, the reference number of the case, - the planned location of the covert data gathering to be applied, - the name or data suitable for the identification of the person planned to be affected by the covert data gathering, as well as the description of the means and method of covert data gathering to be applied, - the duration for which the covert data gathering is planned to be maintained, specified in calendar days and hours, - detailed description substantiating the conditions for the application as specified in CCP, thus especially the description of the underlying criminal offence and the data establishing suspicion that the criminal offence has been committed, the circumstances justifying that covert data gathering is indispensable, the objective thereof and facts establishing probable cause to believe that the evidence may be obtained by the means or method to be applied in the course of covert data gathering, - justification that the covert data gathering in the frame of the ongoing criminal proceeding has been lawfully authorised, - additional technical and administrative data, which are strictly needed to perform the covert data gathering, - the name of the telecommunications service, IT device, system or method affected by the covert data gathering, - the data to be transmitted. If the person affected by the covert data gathering is not staying in the territory of Hungary, but the assistance of the Hungarian authorities is needed to carry out the interception, a short description of the facts of the case is also needed.

Last reviewed on 6 July 2016 by EJN Secretariat

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