EU move will allow cross-border asset freezing
The European Union has taken a step towards adopting a law which would force the freezing of assets by a member state as a result of a court order issued in another EU country.
The regulation is the first measure in a programme of mutual recognition of law and court decisions decided at the EU?s justice and home affairs summit in Finland two years ago.
And in an important amendment to the rule, the asset-freezing order would apply to all cases which are punishable by a custodial sentence of at least six months and not just drug trafficking, EU budget fraud, money-laundering, currency counterfeiting and corruption or trafficking of humans as had originally been planned.
There was also a move to bring the measure into force six months early, on 30 June 2002. The full parliament will vote on the issue in October after which it will have to be agreed with government ministers of the 15 member countries.