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Legal Matters

Travellers do not report being hassled by police, and petty bribery is rare. There is no significant local drug problem, and no focus on drug enforcement, either. The legal system is Western in nature. Arrests require a warrant unless caught in the act. The legality of a detention must be determined within 48 hours. Detainees are informed of charges against them and allowed access to family members and a lawyer. There is a provision for bail. The constitution provides for the right to a fair public trial by a judge, and the right of appeal. Defendants are presumed innocent, have the right to confront their accusers, confront witnesses, access government evidence, and present evidence and witnesses on their own behalf. Note that due to a lack of money, pretrial detention is often lengthy, and conditions in the country's one prison are difficult, although not life-threatening.