3 November 2008
Portugal cooperates with 587 European processes - Diário de Notícias
European Judicial Network. In 2007, there were 188 requests for cooperation
by Filipa Ambrósio de Sousa
Portugal has seven ‘contact points’ within international cooperation
In 2005, a Portuguese court detained a man of German nationality due to alleged drug trafficking. The suspect produced cannabis in his home and exported it into Germany. At the same time, a court in Berlin arrested a German citizen who was suspected of illegally selling cannabis, as well.
Through a contact that was established between a German and a Portuguese magistrate, the connection between these two men was swiftly made and the trafficking network that both belonged to was dismantled. Both individuals were tried, condemned and imprisoned in Germany.
This is one of the cases that make up statistics: Portugal has already assisted in 587 requests for international cooperation in crime processes over the last three years, through the European Judicial Network and its seven contact points.
In other words, a network that allows for direct contact between magistrates who reply immediately to requests like rogatory letters – the most common ones -, European arrest warrants or the checking of suspects’ criminal records.
“The presence of the Judicial Network’s contact points is not one of recipients or authors of requests, but rather a role of intervention, in order for a request to be carried out in a fluid and swift manner”, according to Joana Ferreira, from the Attorney General Office’s contact point.
In 2005, Portugal replied to 214 requests for assistance, in 2006 it replied to 185 requests and in 2007 there were 188 cases; it ranks as the third country within the European Union which has replied to more requests for assistance, just behind Germany and Austria.
The United Kingdom, France and Spain were the countries with which Portugal has exchanged the greatest number of information requests: 58, 54 and 38, respectively.
source: Diário de Notícias, 03.11.2008