During 28 - 29 September 2023, the Swedish Prosecution Authority hosted an EJN meeting dedicated to MLA/EIO situations where secret coercive measures ­– such as audio-recording or GPS tracking – are carried out in a suspect’s vehicle that unexpectedly crosses a border.

Prosecutors from Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Poland and Sweden attended.

A prerequisite for the examples discussed was that no technical assistance is needed from the receiving State. The issues were very hands-on. What happens when the executing State has had no time to submit any MLA/EIO in advance to get permission for those investigative measures? Can the receiving State authorise this afterwards? Is already gathered material admissible in court?

The different procedures of the participating countries in these matters were also highlighted. From the issuing State’s point of view, understanding of the receiving State’s procedural and material rules may sometimes be crucial. A positive response can depend on the phrasing of the request!

The limited number of participants and countries enabled a very open and constructive climate of conversation. Problems were solved.

It became apparent that the Annex C of the EIO could need a wider scope of applicability, as well as the corresponding article 20 of the MLA Convention of 29 May 2000. 

Credit: EJN Sweden