In accordance with EU Joint Action 97/827/JHA (5 December 1997), a group of EU experts visited Latvia from 21 to 23 November of this year in the framework of the tenth round of mutual evaluation on the European Investigation Order (EIO) (Directive 2014/41/EU, 3 April 2014) in order to prepare a report on Latvia.
As part of the evaluation, the experts were also interested in receiving views on the EIR from the perspective of practising defence attorneys. For this reason, a meeting of EU experts and representatives of the Latvian Bar Association was organised on 22 November. It was also attended by Sorainen Latvia head of the Corporate Crime Investigations practice, Dr. iur. Violeta Zeppa-Priedīte, who shared her experience assisting clients in cross-border criminal cases, including those relating to bribery and money laundering.
The experts were interested in such issues as the practical experience of attorneys working with the EIR, making requests for information, or obtaining evidence at the request of victims, suspects or accused persons; remedies; and the use of the EIR in organising court hearings by videoconference, as well as the training of lawyers in the EIR.
It should be recalled that a European Investigation Order is a request by the competent authority of a member state of the European Union to carry out a procedural step in order to obtain evidence on the territory of another member state of the European Union or to obtain evidence already held by the competent authorities of a member state of the European Union. During pre-trial proceedings, the European Investigation Order shall be examined and followed by the prosecutor general’s office and, pending prosecution, by the national police.
Dr Violeta Zeppa-Priedīte