printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

12923 Lithuania - Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters


   
Share

TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 12923

 

 

MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE

 

 

 

 

Treaty Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
and LITHUANIA

 

Signed at Washington January 16, 1998

 

 

 

 



 

 


NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”


 

 

 

 

LITHUANIA

Mutual Legal Assistance

Treaty signed at Washington January 16, 1998;
Transmitted by the President of the United States of America
to the Senate April 20, 1998 (Treaty Doc. 105-41,
105th Congress, 2d Session);
Reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
October 14, 1998 (Senate Executive Report No. 105-22,
105th Congress, 2d Session);
Advice and consent to ratification by the Senate
October 21, 1998;
Ratified by the President January 20, 1999;
Ratified by Lithuania July 13, 1998;
Ratifications exchanged at Vilnius August 26, 1999;
Entered into force August 26, 1999.

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the
Republic of Lithuania,
Desiring to improve the effectiveness of the law enforcement authorities of both
countries in the investigation, prosecution, and prevention of crime through cooperation
and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters,
Have agreed as follows:
2
Article 1
Scope of Assistance
1. The Contracting Parties shall provide mutual assistance, in accordance with
the provisions of this Treaty, in connection with the investigation, prosecution, and
prevention of offenses, and in proceedings related to criminal matters.
2. Assistance shall include:
(a) taking the testimony or statements of persons;
(b) providing documents, records, and other articles of evidence;
(c) locating or identifying persons or items;
(d) serving documents;
(e) transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes;
(f) executing requests for searches and seizures;
(g) assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and forfeiture of
assets; restitution; collection of fines; and
(h) any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the
Requested State.
3. Assistance shall be provided without regard to whether the conduct that is the
subject of the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding in the Requesting State would
constitute an offense under the laws of the Requested State.
4. This Treaty is intended solely for mutual legal assistance between the Parties.
The provisions of this Treaty shall not give rise to a right on the part of any private person
to obtain, suppress, or exclude any evidence, or to impede the execution of a request.
Article 2
Central Authorities
1. The authorities of the Contracting Parties shall seek and obtain assistance
through their respective Central Authorities. The Central Authority for the United States
shall be the Attorney General or such persons in the Department of Justice as the
3
Attorney General designates. The Central Authority for the Republic of Lithuania shall
be the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Justice.
2. The Central Authority for the United States will make requests on behalf of
prosecutors, investigators with criminal law enforcement jurisdiction, and agencies and
entities with specific statutory or regulatory authority to refer matters for criminal
prosecution. The Central Authority for the Republic of Lithuania will make requests on
behalf of prosecutors and courts.
3. The Central Authority for the Requesting State shall use its best efforts to
ensure that a request is not made where, in its view:
(a) the offense on which the request is based does not have serious
consequences; or
(b) the extent of the assistance to be requested is unreasonable in view of
the sentence expected upon conviction.
4. The Central Authorities shall communicate with one another directly for the
purposes of this Treaty.
Article 3
Limitations on Assistance
1. The Central Authority of the Requested State may deny assistance if:
(a) the request relates to an offense under military criminal law that
would not be an offense under ordinary criminal law;
(b) the request relates to a political offense;
(c) the execution of the request would prejudice the sovereignty, security,
or similar essential interests of the Requested State; or
(d) the request is not made in substantial compliance with the
requirements set forth in Article 4.
2. Before denying assistance pursuant to this Article, the Central Authority of
the Requested State shall consult with the Central Authority of the Requesting State to
consider whether assistance can be given subject to such conditions as it deems necessary.
4
If the Requesting State accepts assistance subject to these conditions, it shall comply with
the conditions.
3. If the Central Authority of the Requested State denies assistance, it shall
inform the Central Authority of the Requesting State of the grounds for the denial.
Article 4
Form and Contents of Requests
1. A request for assistance shall be in writing except that the Central Authority
of the Requested State may accept a request in another form in urgent situations. If the
request is not in writing, it shall be confirmed in writing within ten days unless the Central
Authority of the Requested State agrees otherwise. The request shall be in the language or
translated into the language of the Requested State unless otherwise agreed.
2. The request shall include the following:
(a) the name of the authority conducting the investigation, prosecution, or
proceeding to which the request relates;
(b) information describing the facts of the offenses and the procedural
history of the case;
(c) the text of the laws describing the offenses for which assistance is
requested;
(d) a description of the evidence, information, or other assistance sought;
and
(e) a statement of the purpose for which the evidence, information, or
other assistance is sought.
3. To the extent necessary and possible, a request shall also include:
(a) information on the identity, citizenship, and location of any person
from whom evidence is sought;
(b) information on the identity and location of a person to be served, that
person's relationship to the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding,
and the manner in which service is to be made;
5
(c) information on the identity and suspected location of the person or
item to be located;
(d) a precise description of the place or person to be searched and of the
item to be seized;
(e) a description of the manner in which any testimony or statement is to
be taken and recorded;
(f) a description of the testimony or statement sought, which may include
a list of questions to be asked;
(g) a description of any particular procedure to be followed in executing
the request;
(h) information as to the allowances and expenses to which a person asked
to appear in the Requesting State will be entitled; and
(i) any other information that may be brought to the attention of the
Requested State to facilitate its execution of the request.
Article 5
Execution of Requests
1. The Central Authority of the Requested State shall promptly execute the
request or, when appropriate, shall transmit it to the authority having jurisdiction to do
so. The competent authorities of the Requested State shall do everything in their power to
execute the request. The Courts of the Requested State shall have authority to issue
subpoenas, search warrants, or other orders necessary to execute the request.
2. The Central Authority of the Requested State shall represent or make
arrangements for representation of the Requesting State in the execution in the Requested
State of a request for assistance.
3. Requests shall be executed in accordance with the laws of the Requested State
except to the extent that this Treaty provides otherwise. However, the method of
execution specified in the request shall be followed except insofar as it contradicts or is
prohibited by the laws of the Requested State.
6
4. If the Central Authority of the Requested State determines that execution of a
request would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation, prosecution, or proceeding
in that State, it may postpone execution, or make execution subject to conditions
determined to be necessary after consultations with the Central Authority of the
Requesting State. If the Requesting State accepts the assistance subject to the conditions,
it shall comply with the conditions.
5. The Requested State shall use its best efforts to keep confidential a request
and its contents if such confidentiality is requested by the Central Authority of the
Requesting State. If the request cannot be executed without breaching such
confidentiality, the Central Authority of the Requested State shall so inform the Central
Authority of the Requesting State, which shall then determine whether the request should
nevertheless be executed.
6. The Central Authority of the Requested State shall respond to reasonable
inquiries by the Central Authority of the Requesting State concerning progress toward
execution of the request.
7. The Central Authority of the Requested State shall promptly inform the
Central Authority of the Requesting State of the outcome of the execution of the request.
If the execution of the request is delayed or postponed, the Central Authority of the
Requested State shall promptly inform the Central Authority of the Requesting State of
the reasons for the delay or postponement.
Article 6
Costs
1. The Requested State shall pay all costs relating to the execution of a request
except for the following:
(a) the fees of experts;
(b) the costs of interpretation, translation and transcription; and
7
(c) the allowances and expenses related to travel of persons travelling
either in the Requested State for the convenience of the Requesting
State or pursuant to Articles 10 and 11.
2. If during the execution of a request it becomes apparent that complete
execution will entail expenses of an extraordinary nature, the Central Authorities shall
consult to determine the terms and conditions under which execution may continue.
Article 7
Limitations on Use
1. The Central Authority of the Requested State may require that the
Requesting State not use any information or evidence obtained under this Treaty in any
investigation, prosecution, or proceeding other than that described in the request without
the prior consent of the Central Authority of the Requested State. In such instances, the
Requesting State shall comply with the requirement.
2. The Central Authority of the Requested State may request that information
or evidence furnished under this Treaty be kept confidential or be used only subject to
terms and conditions that it may specify. If the Requesting State accepts the information
or evidence subject to such conditions, the Requesting State shall use its best efforts to
comply with the conditions.
3. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the use or disclosure of information or
evidence to the extent that such information or evidence is exculpatory to a defendant in a
criminal prosecution. The Requesting State shall notify the Requested State in advance of
any such proposed use or disclosure.
4. Information or evidence that has been made public in the Requesting State in
a manner consistent with paragraph 1 or 2 may thereafter be used for any purpose.
8
Article 8
Testimony or Evidence in the Requested State
1. A person in the Requested State from whom testimony or evidence is
requested pursuant to this Treaty shall be compelled, if necessary, to appear and testify or
produce items, including documents, records, and other articles of evidence. A person
who gives false testimony, either orally or in writing, in execution of a request shall be
subject to prosecution in the Requested State in accordance with the criminal laws of that
State.
2. Upon request, the Central Authority of the Requested State shall furnish
information in advance about the date and place of the taking of the testimony or evidence
pursuant to this Article.
3. The Requested State shall permit the presence of such persons as specified in
the request during the execution of the request, and shall allow such persons to question,
directly or indirectly, the person giving the testimony or evidence.
4. If the person referred to in paragraph 1 asserts a claim of immunity,
incapacity, or privilege under the laws of the Requesting State, the Central Authorities
shall consult. If the Central Authority of the Requesting State so requests, the testimony
or evidence shall nonetheless be taken and the claim shall be referred to the competent
authorities of the Requesting State for resolution.
5. Evidence produced in the Requested State pursuant to this Article or that is
the subject of testimony taken under this Article shall, upon request, be authenticated by
an attestation, including, in the case of business records, authentication in the manner
indicated in Form A appended to this Treaty. The absence or nonexistence of such
records shall, upon request, be certified through the use of Form B appended to this
Treaty. Records authenticated by Form A, or Form B certifying the absence or
nonexistence of such records, shall be admissible in evidence in the Requesting State as
proof of the truth of the matters set forth therein.
9
Article 9
Official Records
1. The Requested State shall provide the Requesting State with copies of
publicly available records, including documents or information in any form, in the
possession of an executive, legislative, or judicial authority in the Requested State.
2. The Requested State may provide copies of any records, including documents
or information in any form, that are in the possession of an executive, legislative, or
judicial authority in that State, but that are not publicly available, to the same extent and
under the same conditions as such copies would be available to its own law enforcement or
judicial authorities. The Requested State may in its discretion deny a request pursuant to
this paragraph entirely or in part.
3. Records produced pursuant to this Article shall, upon request, be
authenticated by an official responsible for maintaining them through the use of Form C
appended to this Treaty. The absence or nonexistence of such records shall, upon request,
be certified through the use of Form D appended to this Treaty. Records authenticated by
Form C, or Form D certifying the absence or nonexistence of such records, shall be
admissible in evidence in the Requesting State as proof of the truth of the matters set forth
therein.
Article 10
Appearance Outside the Requested State
1. When the Requesting State requests the appearance of a person in that State
or in a third State, the Requested State shall invite the person to appear before the
appropriate authority in the Requesting State or in the third State. The Central Authority
of the Requested State shall promptly inform the Central Authority of the Requesting
State of the person's response.
2. The Requesting State shall indicate the extent to which the person's expenses
will be paid. A person who agrees to appear may ask that the Requesting State advance
10
money to cover these expenses. This advance may be provided through the Embassy or a
consulate of the Requesting State.
3. The Central Authority of the Requesting State may, in its discretion,
determine that a person appearing in the Requesting State pursuant to this Article shall
not be subject to service of process, or be detained or subjected to any restriction of
personal liberty, by reason of any acts or convictions that preceded the person's departure
from the Requested State.
4. The safe conduct provided for by this Article shall cease seven days after a
competent authority of the Requesting State has notified a person appearing pursuant to
this Treaty that the person's presence is no longer required, and that person, being free to
leave, has not left or, having left, has voluntarily returned.
Article 11
Transfer of Persons in Custody
1. A person in the custody of the Requested State whose presence in the
Requesting State or in a third State is sought for purposes of assistance under this Treaty
shall be transferred from the Requested State to the Requesting State or to the third State
for that purpose if the person consents and if the Central Authorities of both States agree.
2. A person in the custody of the Requesting State whose presence in the
Requested State is sought for purposes of assistance under this Treaty may be transferred
from the Requesting State to the Requested State if the person consents and if the Central
Authorities of both States agree.
3. For purposes of this Article:
(a) the receiving State shall have the authority and the obligation to keep
the person transferred in custody unless otherwise agreed by both
Central Authorities;
(b) the person transferred shall not be required, without his consent, to
testify in proceedings not specified in the request;
11
(c) the receiving State shall return the person transferred to the custody
of the sending State as soon as circumstances permit or as otherwise
agreed by both Central Authorities;
(d) the receiving State shall not require the sending State to initiate
extradition or any other proceedings for the return of the person
transferred;
(e) the person transferred shall receive credit for service of the sentence
imposed in the sending State for time served in the custody of the
receiving State; and
(f) where the receiving State is a third state, the Requesting State shall
make all arrangements necessary to meet the requirements of this
paragraph.
4. The Central Authority of the receiving State may provide safe conduct for the
person transferred under the same terms set forth in Article 10, subject to the conditions
set forth in paragraph 3 of this Article.
Article 12
Location or Identification of Persons or Items
If the Requesting State seeks the location or identity of persons or items in the
Requested State, the Requested State shall use its best efforts to ascertain the location or
identity.
Article 13
Service of Documents
1. The Requested State shall use its best efforts to effect service of any document
relating, in whole or in part, to any request for assistance made by the Requesting State
under the provisions of this Treaty.
12
2. The Requesting State shall transmit any request for the service of a document
requiring the appearance of a person before an authority in the Requesting State a
reasonable time before the scheduled appearance.
3. The Requested State shall return a proof of service to the Requesting State in
the manner specified in the request.
Article 14
Search and Seizure
1. The Requested State shall execute a request for the search, seizure, and
transfer of any item to the Requesting State if the request includes the information
justifying such action under the laws of the Requested State.
2. Upon request by the Central Authority of the Requesting State, every official
in the Requested State who has had custody of a seized item shall certify, through the use
of Form E appended to this Treaty, the identity of the item, the continuity of its custody,
and any changes in its condition. The certificates shall be admissible in evidence in the
Requesting State as proof of the truth of the matters set forth therein.
3. The Central Authority of the Requested State may require that the
Requesting State agree to the terms and conditions deemed necessary to protect third
party interests in the item to be transferred.
4. The Central Authority of the Requested State shall use its best efforts to
obtain any necessary approval for the transfer of items where such approval is required
under the laws of that State concerning import, export, or other transfer of items.
Article 15
Return of Items
The Central Authority of the Requested State may require that the Central
Authority of the Requesting State return as soon as possible any items, including
13
documents, records, or other articles of evidence, furnished to it in execution of a request
under this Treaty.
Article 16
Assistance in Forfeiture Proceedings
1. The Central Authority of either Contracting Party may notify the Central
Authority of the other Contracting Party when it becomes aware of proceeds or
instrumentalities of offenses that are located in the other Party and may be forfeitable or
otherwise subject to seizure under the laws of that Party. If the Party receiving such
information has jurisdiction in this regard, it may present this information to its
authorities for a determination whether any action is appropriate. These authorities shall
issue their decision in accordance with the laws of their country. The Central Authority of
the Party that received the information shall inform the Central Authority of the Party
that provided the information of the action taken.
2. The Contracting Parties shall assist each other to the extent permitted by
their respective laws in proceedings relating to the forfeiture of the proceeds and
instrumentalities of offenses, restitution to the victims of crime, and the collection of fines
imposed as sentences in criminal prosecutions. This may include action to temporarily
immobilize the proceeds or instrumentalities pending further proceedings.
3. The Party that has custody over proceeds or instrumentalities of offenses
shall dispose of them in accordance with its laws. Either Contracting Party may transfer
all or part of such assets, or the proceeds of their sale, to the other Party, to the extent
permitted by the transferring Party's laws and upon such terms as it deems appropriate.
14
Article 17
Compatibility with Other Treaties
Assistance and procedures set forth in this Treaty shall not prevent either of the
Contracting Parties from granting assistance to the other Contracting Party through the
provisions of other applicable international agreements, or through the provisions of its
national laws. The Parties may also provide assistance pursuant to any bilateral
arrangement, agreement, or practice that may be applicable.
Article 18
Consultation
The Central Authorities of the Contracting Parties shall consult, at times mutually
agreed to by them, to promote the most effective use of this Treaty. The Central
Authorities may also agree on such practical measures as may be necessary to facilitate the
implementation of this Treaty.
Article 19
Ratification, Entry Into Force, and Termination
1. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification, and the instruments of ratification
shall be exchanged at Vilnius as soon as possible.
2. This Treaty shall enter into force upon the exchange of instruments of
ratification.
3. Either Party may terminate this Treaty by means of written notice to the
other Party. Termination shall take effect six months following the date of notification.
15
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their
respective Governments, have signed this Treaty.
DONE at Washington this sixteenth day of January 1998, in duplicate, in the English
and Lithuanian languages, both texts being equally authentic.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA:
16
Form A
CERTIFICATION OF BUSINESS RECORDS
(name) , having been advised as a witness that a false attestation
subjects me to a penalty of criminal punishment, attest as follows:
I am employed by/associated with (name of business from which documents are
sought) in the position of (business position or title) and by
reason of my position am authorized and qualified to make this attestation.
Each of the records attached hereto is a record in the custody of the above-named business that:
(A) was made, at or near the time of the occurrence of the matters set forth therein,
by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge of those
matters;
(B) was kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity;
(C) was made by the business as a regular practice; and,
(D) if not an original record, is a duplicate of the original.
(date of execution)
(place of execution)
(signature)
17
Form B
CERTIFICATION OF ABSENCE OR NONEXISTENCE OF BUSINESS RECORDS
I, (name) , having been advised as a witness that a false attestation
subjects me to a penalty of criminal punishment, attest as follows:
I am employed by/associated with (name of business from which documents are
in the position of and by
sought) (business position or title)
reason of my position am authorized and qualified to make this attestation.
As a result of my employment/association with the above-named business, I am familiar with
the business records it maintains. The business maintains business records that:
(A) are made, at or near the time of the occurrence of the matters set forth therein
by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge of those
matters;
(B) are kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity; and
(C) are made by the business as a regular practice.
Among the records so maintained are records of individuals and entities that have accounts or
otherwise transact business with the above-named business. I have made or caused to be made a
diligent search of those records. No records have been found reflecting any business activity
between the business and the following individuals and entities:
If the business had maintained an account on behalf of or had participated in a transaction with
any of the foregoing individuals or entities, its business records would reflect that fact.
(date of execution)
(place of execution)
(signature)
18
Form C
CERTIFICATION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS
I, (name) , certify as follows:
1. (name of public authority) is a government office or
agency of (country) and is authorized by law to
maintain official records setting forth matters authorized by law to be reported
and recorded or filed;
2. my position with the above-named public authority is (official
title);
3. in my official capacity I have caused the production of true and accurate copies
of records maintained by that public authority; and
4. those copies are described below and attached.
Description of records:
(signature)
(Official Seal or Stamp)
(date)
19
Form D
CERTIFICATION OF ABSENCE OR NONEXISTENCE OF
OFFICIAL RECORDS
I, (name) , certify as follows:
1. (name of public authority) is a government office or
agency of (country) and is authorized by law to
maintain official records setting forth matters that are authorized by law to be
reported and recorded or filed;
2. records of the type described below set forth matters that are authorized by law
to be reported and recorded or filed, and such matters regularly are recorded or
filed by the above-named public authority;
3. my position with the above-named public authority is (official
title);
4. in my official capacity I have made, or caused to be made, a diligent search of
the above-named public authority's records for the records described below; and
5. no such records have been found to exist.
Description of records:
(signature)
(Official Seal or Stamp)
(date)
20
Form E
CERTIFICATION WITH RESPECT TO SEIZED ITEMS
I, (name) , having been advised as a witness that a false attestation
subjects me to a penalty of criminal punishment, attest as follows:
1. I am employed by (country) and my position or title
is (position or title);
2. I received custody of the items listed below from (name of
on
person) (date) at
(place); and
3. I relinquished custody of the items listed below to (name of
on
person) (date) at
(place) in the same condition as when I received
them (or, if different, as noted below).
Description of items:
Changes in condition while in my custody:
(date of execution)
(place of execution)
(Official Seal or Stamp)
(signature)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.