Cyprus

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Overview

The Cypriot national DNA database contains the genetic profiles of all convicts, suspects, and unidentified crime scene stains. The police must obtain a court order to coercively collect a DNA sample from a suspect. Convicted persons’ profiles are kept indefinitely unless their record is subsequently expunged. Suspects’ profiles are removed when they are acquitted or otherwise cleared of all charges, and crime scene stains are kept until they are identified. DNA samples are retained indefinitely in the case of convicts; Suspects’ profiles, however, are destroyed when they are acquitted or otherwise cleared of all charges.

Cyprus set up a DNA database in 1998. DNA database legislation is planned. The 2008 Interpol survey reports that 1,300 crime scene DNA profiles and 520 individuals' profiles, plus 1,590 missing persons' DNA profiles and 5 unknown/deceased DNA profiles were held in Cyprus at the time of the survey. According to Interpol, a DNA database legislation is planned in Cyprus.

Resources

  • Press articles

Detailed Analysis

I. Law on Point

No law directly on point; operating under the Police Law[1] and Protection of Personal Data Act.[2],[3]

II. Entry Criteria: All convicted persons, suspects, and crime scene stains[4]

III. Sample Collection

Cypriot law places now restrictions on the collections of samples from crime scenes. However, it only permits the police to forcibly collect a sample from an individual suspected of a crime upon a court order. Otherwise, the suspect’s written permission is required. Immediacy following sentencing a sample can be collected from a convicted offender. In the case of minors, without the permission of a legal guardian, the police must seek court approval. The court is permitted to consider the guardian’s reasons for refusing consent as well as other relevant circumstances in rendering its decision. The same procedure applies to the mentally handicapped and mentally ill, with the addition that the court must hear expert medical advice in the process of granting or denying the police’s application.

IV. Removal Criteria

Convicted persons’ profiles are kept indefinitely unless their record is subsequently expunged according to the Reestablishment Act. Suspects’ profiles are removed when they are acquitted or otherwise cleared of all charges, and crime scene stains are kept until they are identified[5]

V. Sample Retention: All samples follow fate of DNA profile.[6]

DNA samples of crime suspects can be retained up to the stage of court hearing or until the completion of an investigation. If no charges are filed or the person is not sentenced by the court, the DNA sample has to be removed from the database. The DNA samples of convicted offenders are retained indefinitely unless the person’s record is cleared according to the Reestablishment Act.

VI. Database Access

Cyprus Police Headquarters in close collaboration with the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics, Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics. The Director of the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics and staff members at the director’s direction have access to the genetic profiles, sample numbers, date of entry of the profiles and the DNA samples. DNA profiles can be exchanged with other EU Member States through Interpol contact points. It is currently not possible to exchange the DNA profiles electronically.[7]

References

  1. Law 73(I)/2004
  2. Law 138(I)/2001
  3. E.U. 9445/1/06 at 5-6.
  4. See EU Current Practices at 39.
  5. See EU Current Practices at 40.
  6. See EU Current Practices at 39.
  7. E.U. 9445/1/06 at ***.