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Lithuanian Parliament adopts criminal intelligence law allowing unsanctioned tracking

Pėdsakas sniege
Andriaus Vaitkevičiaus / 15min nuotr. / Pėdsakas sniege
Šaltinis: BNS

The Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) adopted a Law on Criminal Intelligence which together with a planned Law on Intelligence will reform intelligence activities in Lithuania by separating them from law enforcement.

Among other things, the adopted law will allow tracking of a person up to three days without a court ruling and only sanctioned by head of a law enforcement institution or his/her authorized deputy.

Some lawmakers called this provision a violation of human rights.

"I cannot in any way back totally uncontrolled and unlimited persecution. Without court involvement in this process, I see no possibility to entrust this to ordinary operational staff who very often become contracted staff of both business and political structures," social democrat Valerijus Simulik said.

Meanwhile Stasys Šedbaras, chairman of the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs, defended the provision, saying that the existing Law on Operational Activity does not define physical tracking as such and such actions are not legally regulated. The above-mentioned provision is aimed at regulating them.

Pursuant to the new law, a criminal intelligence investigation will be carried out after receiving information about a crime being masterminded, being committed or having been committed, about a suspected, accused or convicted person on the run, a person gone missing, or when people are being protected from criminal influence.

The law bans applying criminal intelligence activities to the country's president.

Only chairmen of regional courts or judges authorized based on the submission of prosecutors will sanction taping or other measures of secret control, the law states.

In emergency cases when there is a threat to a person's life, health, property or public and state security, criminal intelligence actions might be sanctioned by prosecutors.

If signed by the president, the law will come into force in January 2013.

The Law on Criminal Intelligence will replace the Law on Operational Activity.

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