The Commons Scrutiny Committee welcomed the government’s success in widening the scope of the draft regulations, which may also place assets held by ‘relatives’ of those convicted at risk.
The government confirmed to the committee that the wording of the draft left the scope of action open to member states and that it will not be necessary to secure convictions for the new powers to apply.
The proposal is that courts would have to power of seizure where theyare ‘fully convinced that the property in question has been derived from criminal activities of the convicted person’.
The government said courts would still apply a standard of proof no lower than the UK’s ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ but that ‘criminal activities’ did not just relate to convictions but to ‘circumstances in which the court concludes that the defendant’s property has been acquired as a result of illegal activities, regardless of whether he or she has been convicted for such activities’.
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