Tanzania: Zanzibar High Court, Switzerland Institute to Cooperate in Asset Recovery

CRIMINALS with illicit assets will find no place to hide in Zanzibar following the signing of cooperation agreement between the Isles High Court and the Basel Institute on Governance (BIG) of Switzerland for assets recovery.

The cooperation which is also supported by the Swiss Government will enable Zanzibar to have guidelines on investigation methods, confiscation and prosecution strategies.

The Isles Chief Justice Khamis Ramadhan Abdalla said that the joint cooperation aims to ensure that Zanzibar is not a place for assets and wealth acquired through corruption and illegal deals.

Basel Institute on Governance has helped Zanzibar have proper guidelines after reviewing various laws of the land including 'Zanzibar Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Authority (ZAECA) Act, Zanzibar Drugs Control and Enforcement Authority Act, the Criminal Procedure Act, and other laws.

"The guidelines are based on the above Acts/laws and that when the case comes to court, procedures should be followed to conviction.

This will lead to confiscation of the assets obtained illegally," said the Chief Justice after the signing of the collaboration.

In addition, Justice Abdalla said that the Zanzibar High Court also intends to establish a special court for economic crimes and that the BIG has already shown interest in helping the court, and the cooperation will improve efficiency.

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He explained that the BIG is guided by the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and that the Zanzibar High Court is happy with the cooperation to fight corruption through Courts proceedings and that war against graft requires collaboration in dealing with crimes and recovery of assets.

The Switzerland Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Didier Chassot said that they have decided to cooperate with the Zanzibar High Court to have proper guidelines that will be used to recover assets from criminals, who have been found guilty of serious crimes.

He explained that the relationship will help the Zanzibar High Court develop its ability to handle court cases related to corruption and assets obtained through illegal means and that the agreement is a model that will help bring about reforms in the court.

"In doing so, is to help the Zanzibar High Court achieve its goals of ensuring that offenses related to economic crimes are reduced or completely eliminated.

The guidelines will help judges and magistrates as well as prosecutors and police in handling the cases beginning from arresting and bringing to Court," he said.

The BIG is a handson centre of competence dedicated to promoting good governance and countering corruption for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Established in 2003 in Basel, Switzerland, the Institute works with partners worldwide to advance knowledge, practice and policy on anti-corruption, asset recovery and business integrity.

The institute works with countries around the world to strengthen their capacities to recover illicit assets.

They also support legislative and institutional reform processes; develop and deliver tailormade training; and work with other international organisations to advance innovation and global policy dialogue on asset recovery.

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