Criminals 'light years ahead' in networking

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2007, 12:00am

Prosecutors lag far behind criminals in networking with their international counterparts, a conference heard yesterday.

Francois Falleti, president of the International Association of Prosecutors, said one major problem prosecutors had was that they often did not understand one another.

'My system can be incomprehensible elsewhere,' he said.

The association, which opened its 12th annual conference and general meeting at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Hong Kong yesterday, aims to provide opportunities to bring jurisdictions together and promote a high standard of operations.

'The criminals have moved on. They are light years ahead. They talk to each other all the time,' said Barry Hancock, general counsel of the association.

'But because the world is broken up into so many legal systems, speaking so many different legal languages, not just different linguistic languages, the prosecutors are a long way behind.

'We are now dealing between countries which have never historically had any connections. By talking to people, you can find out quickly whether there is any point in pursuing something.'

He said extraditions could be speeded up if there was trust, and a prosecutor would be less likely to be ignored by a country from which he had requested legal assistance.