Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Request/decision
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages
Languages

Execution Deadline
Deadlines

Legal info
Special requirements
Other information

Fiches Belges: Belgium

Interception and recording of other forms of communication (103)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Belgium

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

Yes. This measure concerns listening to, analysing and recording private (tele)communications during their transmission in virtue of Article 90 TER of the Criminal Investigation Code (CIC), for example the listening of communication in a car with the use of a hidden microphone. The measure can only be ordered by lack of other sufficient measures to find out the truth and may only be ordered for a limited number of serious offences: - attempt on or conspiracy against the King, the royal family or the government; - serious violations of international humanitarian law - terrorism - computer-related crime - corruption - interception and recording of private (tele-)communications - offences concerning the secrecy of private (tele-)communications - serious threats - hostage taking - illicit sexual acts or abuse - murder - kidnapping of minors - trafficking in human beings - serious forms of theft - robbery with murder - offences concerning nuclear material - counterfeiting - certain forms of arson and explosion - illicit trade in narcotic drugs - abuse of telecommunication - illicit trafficking in weapons - smuggling of human beings - illicit trafficking in hormonal substances

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Belgium

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

1959 Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 2000 Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union (ART. 17 TO 19)

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Belgium

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The letter of request has to be sent to the local public prosecutor's office of the geographical area where the investigating measure has to be executed. if this area is not known, the letter of request has to be sent to the federal prosecutor's office - section of international cooperation.

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

The investigating judge (Art 88 BIS of the Criminal Investigation Code (CIC)). Tracing of telecommunications is the exclusive competence of the investigating judge who will be charged with the execution of the letter of request (see below for further information).

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Belgium

Accepted languages for the request/decision

Dutch, French and German Important remarks: before the execution, the letter of request will be translated by the Belgian prosecutor if the language is not the language of the judicial area where the letter of request has to be executed. It is recommended, when possible, to obtain previously the information about the correct language.

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Belgium

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

There is no specific deadline foreseen by the Belgian law for the execution of letter of requests. If the requested deadline can not be respected, the reguesting state will be informed accordingly.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Belgium

a. Special requirements

Content of the international letters rogatory: at least Article 14 of the 1959 Convention 1. The investigating judge has the obligation to motivate his order to proceed to the interception of telecommunication (proportionality check). It is required that the letter of request contains sufficient information about the investigaton in order to make the investigating judge able to motivate his order. 2. The duration of the interception is limited to one month by law; prolongation possible on a monthly basis as long as necessary, however no longer than 6 months. It is required that the letter of request mentions the exactly date of start of the tracing limited to one month. In order to prolonge the tracing it is necessary to send an additional letter of request in due time with all relevant information. The entire intercepted communication is recorded on electronic support and a police record containing the relevant communication, under controle of the investigating judge, is deposited in a sealed envelope at the clerck office of the competent court. The communications gathered as a result of the measures taken in accordance with Articles 90 TER, QUATER and QUINQUIES of the CIC are recorded. The aim of the measure as well as the dates and times at which it was carried out are recorded at the start and at the end of each recording to which it relates. With the exception of the unabridged transcription of the recording, all notes taken in the context of the performance of the measures referred to in the previous paragraph by persons appointed for this purpose that are not recorded in a transcript, are destroyed.

b. Other useful information

The measure may also be ordered for persons other than the suspect, who have a close contact with the suspect (art. 90TER paragraphe 3 of the CIC). Communications or telecommunications covered by professional confidentiality are not recorded in the transcript. If the measure concerns communications covered by professional confidentiality (e.g. lawyers or medical doctors), a special procedure applies (Article 90 TER, paragraph 2 of the CIC).

Last reviewed on 3 March 2017 by EJN Secretariat

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