|Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance will enhance peace, stability in the region – Foreign Ministry|
|Friday, 29 August 2008|
The SAARC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters is one of the most significant and tangible outcomes of the 15th SAARC Summit, held in Colombo recently, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the Convention will be of paramount importance in establishing a legal basis for regional cooperation within SAARC in seeking and providing assistance in criminal matters, bolstering the existing regional legal framework and preventing and suppressing crime as well as terrorism in the region. It is also expected to play a crucial role in suppressing terrorist financing and in combating terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, to enhance peace, stability and security in the region.
The Convention, which was signed by Foreign Ministers of the eight SAARC Member States, seeks to provide the legal basis that aims to harmonize different domestic legal systems of countries which would facilitate mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, namely investigations, prosecution and the resulting proceedings.
“The SAARC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters would strengthen regional cooperation in the fight against cross-border crimes, in particular, the fight against terrorism. In this respect, the Convention calls on all member states to provide each other the widest possible measures of cooperation in combating crime by strengthening cooperation in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes. The support extended is subject to the national laws of the Parties to the Convention. The Convention outlines procedures to be followed in investigations, including search and seizure, obtaining evidence, documents and witnesses in the provision of mutual legal assistance,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The preamble of the Convention recalls the discussions in SAARC on cooperation measures for combating criminal activities including those relating to terrorism. It recognizes the Convention as an effective way of dealing with complex aspects and serious consequences of crimes in its new forms and dimensions. Article 13 of the Convention operates to extend mutual cooperation to seize or confiscate funds collected for the purposes of financing terrorism and to prosecute persons and groups involved in such activities. This is in keeping with individual States’ obligations under the UN Security Council Resolution 1373(2001) to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for such acts.
States may refuse to render assistance in certain cases, including where the execution of the request is contrary to the domestic laws of the requested State, or such execution would impair the security, public order or prejudice the safety of any person.
(Courtesy : Daily Mirror )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
|< Prev||Next >|