3. Judicial phase
This takes place when the investigation is completed and referred for trial.
The judicial phase includes the trial and then issuance of the judgment against the persons identified in the previous phase. In the event that the accused are convicted, the court hands down a final decision for the legal confiscation of assets they have stolen in connection with the criminal offence committed.
When all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, this phase marks the transition from the phase of “frozen assets” to the phase of “confiscated assets”.
In order to confiscate the assets in the jurisdiction(s) in which they have been found, the judicial authorities of the requesting jurisdiction must work closely with their counterparts, to ensure that an appropriate course of action is taken (e.g., enforcement of the confiscation order from the requesting country or obtaining a local confiscation order in the requested jurisdiction).
It is important to note that while this section predominantly relates to criminal procedures, judicial procedures surrounding civil actions as well as non-conviction-based forfeiture proceedings are also a viable avenue to take at this stage, depending on the individual circumstances of the case at hand. For more information please refer to the resources noted at the end of this section.
The questions to be answered in this phase (in particular by a judiciary) include:
- whether enough persuasive evidence has been collated;
- whether the rule of law has been observed in the investigation phase.