15.58Many of the grounds for refusing assistance explicitly apply to requests for assistance with the prosecution or punishment of an offence. There is a concern that the limitation of the grounds to the prosecution or punishment stage of a criminal matter means that the grounds cannot apply when the request for assistance relates to an early stage in the criminal process.
15.60At present, it seems there is a risk that the statutory grounds for refusing a request would not apply where a request relates to an early stage in a criminal matter. For instance, if New Zealand was asked to provide information or evidence for use in preliminary investigations, prior to any charges being laid, MACMA would not provide statutory grounds for refusing to assist on the basis of the offence being of a political or military character, extraterritoriality, or the death penalty applying. It is suggested that the grounds for refusal should apply broadly to all requests made in the appropriate circumstances.
Q59 Should all grounds for refusal in MACMA relate to the investigation stage of a criminal matter in addition to the prosecution and punishment stages?
Q60 Should New Zealand have a statutory obligation in MACMA to consult with a requesting country to consider whether a request may be granted subject to terms and conditions before deciding to refuse a request?