Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Paris court can issue arrest warrant if subpoena rejected
An international arrest warrant can be issued by a French judge if a witness refuses to assist in an inquiry following the issuance of a subpoena.
According to French lawyer Joseph Breham (right), who is acting on behalf of Malaysian NGO Suaram on the civil complaint on the multi-million ringgit arms kickbacks, a "red alert" can be sent to Interpol as a last resort.
"If the witness refuses to abide by the subpoena, the court can issue a notice mandat d'amener, compelling the witness to appear before it. If the witness (still) fails to oblige, a warrant of arrest may be issued.
"The warrant of arrest is applicable within the French territory, and may be internationalised, if the judge deems it necessary."
Last month, Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said neither he nor anyone from his ministry would assist in the French inquiry.
Zahid was named in the list of seven witnesses proposed by Suaram, which was accepted by French investigating judge Roger Le Loire.
[More to follow]