MR slams Bill to amend mutual assistance in criminal matters Act

It applied only to specified Commonwealth countries and to other countries that had signed agreements with Sri Lanka to render mutual assistance in criminal matters. He said the purpose of the original law was to facilitate cooperation between Sri Lanka and specified foreign countries in locating and identifying witnesses or suspects, the service of documents on such persons, the examination of witnesses, the obtaining of evidence, execution of requests for search and seizure, temporarily transferring a person in custody to appear as a witness, facilitation of the personal appearance of witnesses, the location of the proceeds of any criminal activity, and enforcing orders for the freezing of property etc. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has slammed the Bill to amend mutual assistance in criminal matters.Rajapaksa said in a statement that the government has introduced in Parliament, a Bill to amend the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, No. 25 of 2002. The Bill to amend Act No: 25 of 2002 will repeal and replace entire sections of the original Act and substantially change its character.Rajapaksa says the proposed amendment will widen the applicability of the Act to every country that is a party to any international Convention that involves criminal matters. “Though the original Act applied only to states, the proposed amendment will make it applicable to international organisations such as the International Criminal Court as well. It will also make documentary evidence and evidence obtained through video conferencing from persons resident in foreign countries admissible in judicial proceedings. The administrative machinery to respond expeditiously to requests from overseas is also to be expanded,” he said.The former President said that the proposed legislation complements two previous laws introduced by the present Government – the Office of Missing Persons Act and the Act relating to the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances.Rajapaksa says the amendments proposed to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act of 2002 are clearly aimed at assisting foreign courts in the trial of Sri Lankans for offences allegedly committed in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Dream Office REIT selling Scotia Plaza stake other assets for 17 billion

Dream Office REIT selling Scotia Plaza stake, other assets for $1.7 billion by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 22, 2017 3:10 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Dream Office REIT says it has struck a deal to sell office properties for $1.7 billion, with $750 million of that coming from the sale of its 50 per cent stake in Scotia Plaza in downtown Toronto to co-owners KingSett Capital and the Alberta Investment Management Corp.The Toronto-based real estate investment trust says it will use some of the proceeds to buy back and cancel $440 million worth of its investment units.It says it plans to cut its annual investor distributions from $1.50 to $1 per unit to boost cash flow to reinvest in its business.Dream Office REIT says if completed, the sales will result in a total of $3.2 billion raised since it adopted a strategic plan early last year with a target of $1.2 billion over three years.It says the value of its income properties portfolio will fall from $6.1 billion 18 months ago to about $2.9 billion, with about half of that centred in downtown Toronto. read more