Act No. 101/2001 of 25 August 2001
To make provision as to covert operations
undertaken for the purposes of crime prevention and criminal
The Assembly of the Republic, in
accordance with Article 161 (c) of the Constitution and to
be valid as a general law of the Republic, decrees as follows:
(1) This Act sets forth the legal regime
of covert operations carried out for the purposes of crime
prevention and criminal investigation.
(2) Any operations conducted by criminal
investigation officers, or third persons subject to the scrutiny
of the Criminal Police, acting under undisclosed capacity
and identity for the purpose of preventing or punishing the
offences specified in this Act, shall be deemed to be covert
Covert operations are admissible within
the framework of prevention and punishment of the following
(a) murder, provided that the
offender is unknown;
(b) offences against freedom and against sexual self-determination
punishable with imprisonment for a term of five years or
more in abstracto, in so far as the offender is unknown,
or where a person aged 16 or under or other incapable persons
are expressly referred to as being aggrieved by the offence;
(c) offences relating to stolen-vehicle forgery and trafficking;
(d) slavery, unlawful detention and kidnapping or hostage-taking;
(e) terrorist organisations and terrorism;
(f) unlawful seizure of aircraft, vessel, train or any means
of transport by road, or endangering the safety of air,
sea or railway goods or passengers, punishable with imprisonment
for a term of eight years or more in abstracto;
(g) involving bombs, grenades, explosive substances or devices,
firearms and booby-trapped objects, nuclear, chemical or
(h) robbery at credit institutions, treasury offices and
(i) criminal conspiracy;
(j) concerning trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic
(l) laundering of money, other assets or products;
(m) corruption, embezzlement, undue pecuniary advantage
in business transactions and trading in influence;
(n) fraudulently obtaining of or wrongfully misappropriating
grants or subsidies;
(o) economic and financial offences committed in an organised
manner or by computer-related means;
(p) economic and financial offences committed at international
or trans-national levels;
(q) counterfeiting currency, securities, revenue stamps,
postage stamps and the like securities or passing them off
(r) relating to securities
(1) Covert operations must be adequate
to such crime prevention and criminal punishment purposes
as are described in concreto, including the obtaining of evidence,
and proportionate to either such purposes or the seriousness
of the offence under investigation.
(2) No one may be compelled to take part
in a covert operation.
(3) Covert operations within the framework
of the inquiry are subjected to prior authorisation of the
competent member of the Public Prosecution, to mandatory communication
to the investigating judge, and will be deemed to be ratified
if no order refusing permission is issued within 72 hours.
(4) If the operation referred to in subsection
(3) is carried out in the framework of crime prevention, it
falls within the competence of the investigation judge to
give the required authorisation upon proposal by the Public
(5) In a case falling within subsection
(4), the initiative lies with the member of the Public Prosecution
at the Central Office for Investigation and Prosecution (DCIAP)
and the decision falls to the judge of the Central Criminal
(6) The Criminal Police will report the
undercover agent operation to the competent judicial authority
within 48 hours at the latest as from the date on which the
operation was completed.
Protection of officers and third parties
(1) The judicial authority will order
that the report referred to in section 3 (5) above be joined
to the case-file only if in his opinion such measure is deemed
absolutely indispensable for evidential purposes.
(2) Consideration of indispensability
may be adjourned until the closing of the inquiry or the judicial
investigation; in the meantime, the report and a record thereof
shall be kept by the Criminal Police.
(3) The competent judicial authority may,
of his own motion or on an application by the Criminal Police,
by a reasoned decision, authorise the undercover agent who
has acted under covert of false identity by virtue of section
5 of this Act to give evidence under such identity in proceedings
relating to the facts which were the subject of his covert
(4) If the judge should, on grounds of
evidential indispensability, order the undercover officer
to attend the hearing, the provisions of the 2nd part of paragraph
(1) of Article 87 of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall
always be complied with, and the provisions of Act No. 93/99
of 14 July 1999 shall apply likewise.
(1) For the purpose of section 1 (2),
criminal police agents may act under a false identity.
(2) False identity shall be granted by
an order issued by the Minister of Justice, upon proposal
by the National Director of the Criminal Police.
(3) The identity mentioned in subsection
(2) shall be valid for six months, renewable for identical
periods of time, and the criminal investigation officer to
whom false identity was granted shall be authorised to act
under such identity during that period of time either in the
performance of the actual investigation or, generally, in
every circumstance of the legal and social process.
(4) The order granting the false identity
shall be classified as secret and shall mention the real identity
of the undercover agent.
(5) It shall be the duty of the Criminal
Police to manage and promote the updating of false identities
granted in accordance with the foregoing subsections.
Exemption from liability
(1) Any conduct of an undercover agent
which, in the framework of a covert operation, amounts to
the commission of preparatory or instrumental acts in any
form of participation other than being the instigator or actual
perpetrator of the offence shall not be punishable whenever
due proportionality is kept with regard to the aim to be achieved.
(2) If criminal proceedings should be
initiated for any act(s) done under the provisions of this
Act, the competent judicial authority must, as soon as it
comes to his knowledge, request information from the judicial
authority who issued the authorisation referred to in section
The following are hereby repealed:
(a) Article 59 and Article 59-A of Decree-Law
No. 15/93 of 22 January 1993;
(b) Section 6 of Act No. 36/94 of 29 September 1994.
Enacted on 17 July 2001.
António de Almeida Santos, President of Parliament
Signed on 11 August 2001.
JORGE SAMPAIO, President of the Republic
Counter-signed on 16 August 2001.
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Prime Minister