MONTHLY WRAP MAY 2023
New technology and strategies are helping to deliver justice to victims of grave violations of human rights in Libya, including fresh arrest warrants but “we can do better”, the chief prosecutor of the UN-backed International Criminal Court told the Security Council. To date, four warrants have been issued and two others are in the application process. Many of the gains made resulted from advanced technology and a new evidence management system that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to accelerate investigative and analytical activities.
Through Res. A/RES/77/ of 3 May 2023, the UN General Assembly showed to be determined in encouraging the close cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe in the fight against transnational organized crime, cybercrime, terrorism, money-laundering and environmental crimes, as well as in the protection of the rights of victims of such crime. In particular, the Assembly maintains to support the active dialogue, continued cooperation and enhanced synergies between the Group of States against Corruption and the Implementation Review Group of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by mutually reinforcing and strengthening the implementation of international anti-corruption standards. Additionally, the United Nations do welcome the commitment of the Council of Europe to the promotion of the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the continued cooperation between the Council of Europe and United Nations bodies in the field of counter-terrorism (in particular the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Office of Counter-Terrorism, in full respect of human rights and the rule of law).
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Sudan’s descent into violent conflict and humanitarian catastrophe came under the scrutiny of the UN Human Rights Council on 11 May, as Member States called an emergency session of the body in Geneva. Member States adopted a resolution including a request for detailed monitoring and reporting of all alleged rights abuses, to be carried out by the designated expert for the country, including the current upsurge in violence. The UN rights chief underscored the desperate need for a humanitarian truce and an end to human rights violations. While noting that despite “intense” diplomatic efforts by actors including the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the League of Arab States and the United Nations, the leaders of the SAF and RSF have not agreed to discuss ending hostilities, the High Commissioner called on the parties to the conflict to “urgently commit to an inclusive political process and to a negotiated peace”.
Fake medicine, fuel, gold, guns, humans, and more are being trafficked via millennia-old trade routes crisscrossing the Sahel, and the UN and partners are trying out new, collaborative ways to thwart those attempting the illegal practice, a growing problem in this fragile African region.The Sahel is described by the UN as a region in crisis: those living there are prey to chronic insecurity, climate shocks, conflict, coups, and the rise of criminal and terrorist networks.In order to fight trafficking and other evolving threats, a group of countries in the region – Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad – formed, with the support of the UN, the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel). Fighting organized crime is a central pillar in the wider battle to deal with the security crisis in the region, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said poses a global threat.
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER
The Committee against Torture closed its seventy-sixth session after adopting its concluding observations on the reports of Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg and Slovakia on their efforts to implement the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Erdogan Iscan, Committee Rapporteur, presenting the Committee’s annual report, said the report covered the period from 14 May 2022 to 12 May 2023. During that period, the Committee considered, and adopted concluding observations on 16 reports submitted under article 19 of the Convention. The Committee deeply regretted the fact that some States parties did not comply with their reporting obligations under article 19 of the Convention. At the time of reporting, there were 30 States parties with overdue initial reports and 52 States parties with overdue periodic reports.
UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL
The UN chief on 31 May commended the work of the judges and staff of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as its final judgement was delivered, increasing the prison sentences on appeal of two former top Serbian security officials.
The two were originally sentenced to 12 years by the court in 2021, but Wednesday’s appeal judgement against them, increased that to 15 years, on the grounds that they were “liable as members of a joint criminal enterprise for crimes committed by various Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992”, as well as responsible for murder, in the same year.
On 2 May 2023, Director-General Audrey Azoulay participated at the UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on the need to protect cultural heritage in armed conflict, in UN headquarters (New York City).
The Director-General mentioned that when heritage is targeted, it is always what it represents that is actually targeted: another narrative of societies, often more diverse, more complex; a narrative in which everyone can find their place, some in relation to others, and not against each other.
The adoption, in 2017, of UN Security Council Resolution 2347 is a particularly significant resolution, as it broadened the scope of protection of cultural heritage in times of conflict, with a universal geographical scope.
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
On 4 May 2023, H.E. Mr Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, visited the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he was received by ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański and ICC Registrar Mr Osvaldo Zavala Giler. President Hofmański briefed President Zelenskyy on the ICC’s current work, spanning 16 situation countries on four continents and four ongoing trials. He emphasised the Court’s independence and impartiality as a judicial institution mandated to address the most serious crimes under international law. President Zelenskyy expressed appreciation for the role of the ICC in providing justice in Ukraine and contributing to the rule of law worldwide.
The closing statements in the case The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud are scheduled to take place from 23 to 25 May 2023 in Courtroom III at the seat of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. ICC Trial Chamber X is composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua (President Judge), Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Kimberly Prost. Mr Al Hassan is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Timbuktu (Mali). Subsequent to the closing statements, the judges will commence their deliberations and the judgment will be pronounced in due course.
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr. Karim AA Khan KC, announces amendment suggestions to revise 2014 OTP position paper on sexual and gender crimes. In highlighting the importance of stakeholder consultation in efforts to renew the 2014 Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-based Crimes, Prosecutor Khan stated: “In assuming my role at the International Criminal Court, I pledged to strengthen the OTP’s commitment to seeking accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes.” He believes that with this new perspective, his office will guarantee a higher quality of tools to combat such gender crimes, and maintains that this can only happen with the collaboration of all the competent offices in this field. (All of this work to ensure that such crimes are protected internationally.) Prof. Kim Thuy Seelinger, Special Adviser to the Prosecutor on Sexual Violence in Conflict, is assisting the Prosecutor and the OTP in renewing this policy.
The International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) is aware and profoundly concerned about unwarranted and unjustified coercive measures reportedly taken against ICC officials. The ICC stands firmly by its personnel and officials and calls on all its States Parties and Rome Statute stakeholders to enhance their efforts to protect the Court, its officials and its personnel, and ensure it is capable to continue to deliver on its independent mandate.
Belgium police have arrested an Iraqi immigrant suspected of belonging to an Al-Qaeda cell that carried out deadly car bombings in Baghdad in 2009-2010, prosecutors said Friday. He was appearing in court on charges of “several murders with terrorist intent, participation in the activities of a terrorist group, war crimes and crimes against humanity” to determine whether he would remain in custody. Prosecutors said the Iraqi had been living in Belgium since 2015 under refugee status and the probe against him was launched in 2020.
The Russian Investigative Committee has announced the charges in absentia of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Khan Karim Asad Ahmad and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala. In March, Ahmad and Aitala issued arrest warrants against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova for war crimes committed during the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian investigative committee stated that Ahmad would be prosecuted under the Russian criminal code for “criminal proceedings of a notoriously innocent person, as well as preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations. Aitala was charged under the Russian Criminal Code with “knowingly illegal detention and preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state that enjoys international protection in order to complicate international relations”. These allegations are the result of the Russian Investigative Committee’s investigation into the ICC, which also targeted ICC Prosecutor Kharim Khan and Judges Tomoko Akane and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. Ahmad and Aitala were added to Russia’s wanted list, along with Khan. The ICC claimed that Putin and Lvova-Belova are responsible for the “forced deportation” and the “illegal transfer” of Ukrainian children and issued arrest warrants on March 17. Concern has been expressed about the “intimidation” tactics of the authorities of the Russian Federation against the International Criminal Court, with the Presidency of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, which expressed its support for the judges and prosecutors of the International Criminal Court.
KOSOVO SPECIALIST CHAMBERS
On 6 April 2023, Trial Panel I in a public hearing issued the reparation order in the case of Salih Mustafa who was found guilty on 16th December 2022 of the war crimes of arbitrary detention, torture, and murder, and sentenced to 26 years of imprisonment. The Panel ordered Mr. Mustafa to pay an overall sum of €207,000 as compensation for the harm inflicted on the victims of the crimes for which he is convicted. The Panel noted that its jurisdiction in this case will cease with the issuance of this Reparation Order. The Panel therefore invited the President of the KSC to designate a judicial authority which will be in charge of monitoring and overseeing the implementation and execution of the Reparation Order.
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (IACHR)
On 3 May 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has issued the report Situation of Human Rights in Peru in the Context of Social Protests, in which it addresses the crisis affecting society and democratic institutions in the country as observed by the IACHR during a working visit conducted from January 11 to January 13, 2023.
The report focuses on events that happened over the period December 7, 2022–January 23, 2023, and goes through them chronologically in great detail. To draft this report, the IACHR used interviews and information gathered on site, as well as supplementary data gathered after the visit, mostly from official sources.
On 16 May 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) together with the group of Special Rapporteurships, Independent Experts and Working Groups of the United Nations Special Procedure recalls the international day against homophobia and transphobia. These human rights bodies call on states to address racism and stigma against LGBT people.
On May 2023, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has issued the report “National Protection Systems and the Human Rights of Older Persons in the Americas”. This is the first report that specifically addresses the human rights of older persons in the region and provides an account of the mechanisms provided by States to protect these rights.
The report reflects the paradigm shift concerning old age held in the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons. The Convention states that aging involves just a different stage in an individual’s life cycle and is therefore valuable and dignified. The new paradigm of an active, independent old age requires eradicating discrimination based on age, known as ageism. Ageism unfairly restricts the rights of older persons, turns their problems invisible, and particularly exposes these individuals to various forms of violence. To draft this report, the IACHR’s Rapporteurship on the Rights of Older Persons monitored progress and challenges concerning the human rights of older persons on both an international and an inter-American scale.
EUROPEAN PUBLIC PROSECUTOR OFFICE
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Palermo (Italy) has seized over €700 000 in assets against seven suspects and their companies, in an investigation into fraud involving national and EU agricultural funding aimed at supporting the conversion to organic farming. The freezing order, issued by the Judge for Preliminary Investigations at the Court of Catanzaro (Calabria), was executed on 5 May 2023, by the Catanzaro Provincial Command of the Guardia di Finanza (Italian Financial Police). The crimes under investigation are aggravated fraud for obtaining public funds, and false statements in a public deed. The suspects are believed to have presented false certifications concerning the requirements to be awarded the non-repayable funds – thus misleading the paying agency, which granted the sums now subject to the freezing order. In particular, the suspects are understood to have falsely certified that they did not have prior convictions or pending tax debts, that they met the requirements to be considered a young agricultural entrepreneur and that the quality of their activities was recognised by the competent health department. The total amount obtained by the suspects was €713 377.61, granted by the Calabrian Region under the partly EU-funded Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014/2020. In order to recover the damages to the national and EU budgets, the Italian Financial Police, on behalf of the EPPO, has seized the bank accounts and real estate of the suspects under investigation.
On 29 May 2023, behalf of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), the Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) carried out 46 searches and arrested 27 suspects for fraud involving up to €750 000 in funds for young farmers. Three of the suspects have been placed in detention. The searches, which involved almost 100 FCIS officers (Finansinių nusikaltimų tyrimo tarnyba), were carried out in the counties of Vilnius, Kaunas, Panevėžys, Šiauliai and Klaipėda. On the radar of the investigation, carried out by the EPPO’s European Delegated Prosecutors in Vilnius (Lithuania), in cooperation with the FCIS, are four business partners managing companies providing agricultural services. It is suspected that the four business partners organised a fraudulent scheme by which they submitted applications for project funding on behalf of young farmers, while knowing that the projects would not be implemented by them. In order to do so, they are believed to have used several accomplices, including at least 16 persons with whom they had family ties or employment relations. According to the investigation, in the summer of 2021 they submitted to Lithuania’s National Paying Agency (NPA) at least 20 applications for funding, under the programme ‘Support for the setting-up of young farmers’, financed by the Lithuanian Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. Subsequently, the members of the suspected organised group obtained more than €650 000 in EU and national funding. They are also believed to have attempted to obtain at least €106 000 more. It is alleged that, using the funds obtained, the suspected members of the organised group concluded fictitious transactions for loans and the provision of agricultural services, as well as for the purchase and sale of agricultural parcels. These fictitious contracts were concluded with individuals or companies with ties to the suspects. According to the evidence gathered, these transactions were carried out in order to simulate the fulfillment of obligations during the implementation period of the projects. During the searches, accounting documents, contracts, notes, computers and phones were seized, as well as thousands of euros in cash. In addition, possible narcotic substances were also found and are being investigated by the Lithuanian police. In order to recover the damages to national and EU budgets, a freezing order of real estate worth more than €650 000 was also executed. Under the Lithuanian criminal code, fraudulent acquisition of a third person’s high-value assets is punishable with up to eight years’ imprisonment. Forgery of documents and their use is punishable with up to six years’ imprisonment.
In an investigation into fraud involving EU subsidies for the use of grazing land, coordinated by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Venice (Italy), a freezing order of up to €171 000 was executed on 26 May 2023. The freezing order was issued on 16 May 2023 by the judge for preliminary investigations at the Court of Trento, against a company based in Trentino and four individuals, for amounts allegedly unduly received from 2020 to 2021. The investigation originated in a probe launched by the Carabinieri Command for Forestry (Carabinieri Forestali) of Brescia, in the summer of 2020, in the context of so-called ‘pasture fraud’ – a scheme involving fake contracts claiming ownership of plots of land, in order to defraud the EU of subsidies for the use of grazing land. Two companies are under investigation: a cooperative based in L’Aquila and another company based in Trentino-Alto Adige. Its administrators allegedly drafted and submitted false contracts claiming they had management rights to lands located in the municipalities of Saviore dell’Adamello (Brescia) and Valdaone (Trentino), in order to obtain subsidies provided by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union, within the direct payments and rural development support programme. The judge of the Court of Trento also ordered the freezing of the titles to CAP rights held by the company based in Trentino, with a value of around €55 000.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has demanded the safe return of Ukrainian children forcibly transferred to Russia of temporarily Russian occupied territories, as well as punishment of those who carried it out. The Assembly states that there are evidence that deported children had faced process of “russification”, through re-education in Russian language, culture and history. According to International Criminal Court too, the Assembly looks at these transfers as clearly planned ad organised in a systematic way, aiming to annihilate every link and feature of the Ukrainian identity is those children.
during the summit of the member States of the Coalition on the Creation of a Special Tribunal on the crime of aggression against Ukraine, held the 9 may, the Council of Europe Secretary General underlined the action of the organisation on the support for the Office of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General in his investigation into war crime and gross human rights violations, in the establishing a Register of Damage for a comprehensive compensation mechanism and in the support for international effort to set up a special tribunal for Ukraine.
The European Court of Human Rights and the Department for Executions of ECHR Judgements have stated that life imprisonment is compatible with European Convention of Human Rights as long as prisoners have some chance of being released and it’s possible for their sentences to be reviewed. According to the Court, the national frameworks concerning life imprisonment must be sufficiently clear and certain.
The Addendums assess the measures taken by the Swiss and Moldavian authorities to implement the pending recommendations issued in the Fourth Evaluation Report, especially on preventing corruption amongst members of parliaments, judges and prosecutors.
COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
The Court of Justice of the European Union has been referred for a preliminary ruling by the Curtea de Apel Braşov (Romania) concerning the principles of dissuasive sanctions in the event of serious fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union. In particular, the referral’s query concerned whether the Community rules should be interpreted as precluding a legal situation in which a convicted applicant seeks, by means of an extraordinary appeal, the annulment of a final criminal conviction, relying on the application of the principle of the most favourable criminal law.
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
S.P and Others v. Russia (Application no. 36463/11)
The Chamber held unanimously that, in the case S.P. and Others v. Russia, there had been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 3. The applicants are 13 Russian nationals, all been convicted of crimes and have either served their custodial sentences or are currently serving sentence in prison. The inter-prisoner relations in Russian penal system are ruled by an informal code of conduct (“the rules”), under which the prisoners are divided into four main categories. The applicants assert that they were in the lowest category and, as result of this, they were given tasks considered too degrading for other prisoners; these practises are tacitly enforced by prison staff. Court states that the Article 3 enshrined one of the most fundamental values of a democratic society, prohibiting in absolute terms torture or inhuman or degrading treatments or punishments. According to the Court, the applicants’ complaint should have been object of prompted action by the prison officers, that was totally lacking. The Russian authorities took no step to acknowledge the issue or to protect the applicants from ill-treatment they had suffered and, furthermore, there had been no effective remedy available to the applicants to complain of their situation.
Horion v. Belgium (Application no. 37928/20)
In the case Horion v. Belgium, the Court found unanimously that had been a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment). The applicant has been detained since 1979 and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981, for the murder of five people connected to a robbery. The applicant complains that his life sentence was irreducible de facto. Since January 2018, psychiatric experts and domestic courts had agreed that extending the applicant’s detention was no longer appropriate, either in terms of public safety or for the purpose of the rehabilitation and reintegration into society, recommending that the applicant be admitted to a forensic psychiatric unit as an intermediate stage before his possible release. Anyway, the domestic Court refused to approve any other sentence adjustments, such as limited detention or electronic surveillance, emphasising that the applicant’s admission to a forensic psychiatric unit was an essential step in his reintegration into society: according to the courts, the applicant’s admission appeared to ben impossible due to funding issues. The ECHR considered that the predicament in which the applicant had found himself for several years, owing to the practical impossibility of securing a place in a forensic psychiatric unit, although his detention was no longer considered appropriate, meant that he currently had no realistic prospect of release, a situation prohibited under the Article 3 of the Convention.
The Council decided, on 30/05/2023, to impose restrictive measures against seven individuals in application of two separate sanctions frameworks: a newly established regime against persons responsible for actions aimed at destabilising, undermining or threatening the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova and the regime on actions undermining or threatening territorial integrity, the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The persons targeted by sanctions are politicians and businessmen of Moldovan or Russian nationality who have carried out destabilizing activities. Some are involved in the case of “bank fraud” which resulted in huge losses to the Moldovan budget. Others are related to attempts orchestrated by the Kremlin to destabilize Moldova inter alia through the planning of violent demonstrations, financial wrongdoing, unauthorized export of capital and support for Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) projects. In addition, the two listed listings linked to Ukraine concern persons who have provided support to Russian military forces and have cooperated with the occupation authorities.
On 4 May 2023, the European Commission presented a new anti-corruption package, including a proposal to extend the EU sanctions regime beyond human rights violations to include acts of corruption committed anywhere in the world. Under the proposed framework, foreign citizens involved in corruption could be banned from entering the EU and subject to asset freezes, while EU citizens would be prohibited from making any economic transactions with them. The framework would align EU legislation with the US Magnitsky Act, which was introduced in 2012 to punish people involved in human rights violations in honor of the late Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky and was subsequently extended to cover up corruption crimes as well. Magnitsky was a Moscow auditor who denounced high-profile state corruption and was thrown into prison, where he died in 2009 after 11 months in prison, during which he was allegedly beaten by guards and denied medical treatment. Magnitsky-style structures against human rights violations and corruption are also in place in the UK, Canada and Australia. The proposed anti-corruption package also aims to harmonise definitions of corruption in EU Member State legislation to include offences such as misappropriation, influence trafficking and abuse of functions.
The operation Pandora VII was led by Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of INTERPOL and EUROPOL: law enforcement arrested 60 people and recovered 11,049 stolen artefacts as part of a major international art trafficking scheme, across 14 INTERPOL member countries. The iteration of the operation saw thousands of checks carried out at various airports, ports and border crossing points, as well ad in auction houses, museums and private houses. Amongst the recovered artefacts, 77 ancient books were seized from an online marketplace by the Carabineri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage.
In an operation coordinated by EUROPOL, law enforcement have seized the illegal dark web marketplace “Monopoly Market” and arrested 288 suspect involved in buying or selling drugs on the dark web. More than 50. 8 million euros in cash and virtual currencies have been seized, along with 850 kilos of drugs and 117 firearms. The operation, named SpecTor, was composed of a series of separate complementary actions in Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, the UK, the US and Switzerland.
An international operation across three countries has resulted in takedown of the biggest drug trafficking organisation in the Balkan region. Coordinated raids were carried out in Serbia and the Netherlands, targeting the cartel’s leadership and distribution infrastructure. The Serbian authorities arrested 13 people, including 3 high value targets. The operation is part of the activity of the EUROPOL Operational Taskforce ‘Balkan Cartel’ and brought tighter countries across Europe and the World to effectively target this threat emanating from this region.
EUROPEAN UNION AGENCY FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE COOPERATION
In recent years it has become apparent that universal or extraterritorial jurisdiction has served as a powerful tool of last resort in the fight against impunity against the most serious crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Convictions have been obtained for crimes committed, for example, in Syria, Afghanistan or Rwanda, for crimes that date back 40 years. The intensification of efforts to work towards an end to impunity for major international crimes is one of the themes of this year’s EU Day Against Impunity (EUDAI) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 22 May. The objective of the Diplomatic Conference is to conduct formal negotiations leading to the adoption of a new multilateral procedural treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition in order to facilitate better practical cooperation between the investigating States; and prosecute major international crimes.
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Eurojust’s role in combating major international crimes was significantly strengthened in 2022, says the Agency’s annual report, published on 24 May 2023. A few weeks after the outbreak of war, the Agency provided essential support for the establishment of a joint investigation team (SIC) on alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Subsequently, Eurojust’s mandate was rapidly extended to allow the Agency to store and analyse evidence on major international crimes. By the end of the year, the European Commission has asked Eurojust to host the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine (ICPA). These are the key events that shaped Eurojust’s work in 2022 according to the Agency’s annual report. While actively providing dedicated justice support for Ukraine, Eurojust continued to carry out its mandate to combat all serious cross-border crimes. The operational activity of the Agency increased by 14% in 2022 compared to 2021. Last year, Eurojust handled 11 544 criminal investigations, including over 2,000 large-scale operations. The Agency has helped to bring justice to more than 300,000 victims of crime, three times as many as the previous year. Eurojust has contributed to the arrest of more than 4000 suspects, the seizure and/or freezing of nearly EUR 3 billion worth of criminal assets and the seizure of drugs worth almost EUR 12 billion. These operational results are the result of effective transnational cooperation between judicial authorities, facilitated by Eurojust, in close cooperation with all actors in the criminal justice chain.
ITALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
The Constitutional Court has declared the constitutional illegitimacy of the combined provisions of Articles. 4, paragraph 3, and 5, paragraph 5, of Legislative Decree 25 July 1998, n. 286 in the part in which it includes, among the hypotheses of conviction automatically impeding the renewal of the residence permit for work, also those, although not definitive, for the crime referred to in art. 73, paragraph 5, of the Decree of the President of the Republic 9 October 1990, n. 309 and the definitive ones for the offense referred to in art. 474, second paragraph, of the Criminal Code, without providing that the competent authority verifies in concrete terms the social danger of the applicant.
ITALIAN SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION
Reparation for the unjust detention suffered following the issuance of a European arrest warrantThe Fourth Criminal Chamber held that, in order to award reparation for the wrongful detention suffered as a result of the issue of a European arrest warrant, it is not necessary that an irrevocable judgment of acquittal of the surrendered person has been issued in the issuing State, nor is it required of the judge responsible for reparation to verify that the conditions for a judgment in favour of surrender are met, it being sufficient that an irrevocable judgment refusal of the same has been issued.