Guyana will enact witness protection laws - AG
Stabroek News
December 15, 2001

Guyana has no legislation protecting witnesses and victims of crime, even though the country is "essentially compliant" with most of the articles on the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Doodnauth Singh, who attended a meeting on the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime in Trinidad recently, was quoted as saying that Guyana was essentially compliant with most of the articles as there is legislation in the form of the Money Laundering Prevention Act, the Criminal Law Offences Act, the Narcotics Act and the Fugitive Offenders Act.

A release from the Guyana Information Agency (GINA) yesterday said that the meeting was held on November 30 and December 1 to determine whether territories had domestic legislation in consonance with the minimum requirements necessary for ratifying the convention and its protocols (on trafficking of persons, especially women and children, and on smuggling of immigrants by land, air and sea).

At the meeting each territory was required to review its domestic legislation to determine basic compliance with the convention.

The articles of the convention dealt with the criminalisation of money laundering, corruption, obstruction of justice and participation in organised criminal groups. Others dealt with extradition, protection of witnesses and victims of crime and mutual assistance in dealing with criminal matters.

According to GINA, the Attorney General said that in the light of the articles, steps should be taken to address the question of adequate sanctions and punishments.

Countries that are not yet signatories to the convention and its protocols have been urged to speed up the process to make provisions for ratification.