The legislature yesterday ratified the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with the government of Belize, which allows the two nations to cooperate on crime prevention and prosecution.
In a joint meeting in Taipei, the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee and the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee unanimously agreed to adopt the bilateral accord, without going to cross-caucus negotiations.
The treaty comprises 22 articles under which the two nations are able assist each other in the areas of crime prevention, criminal investigation, prosecution and court procedures.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), who attended the meeting, said the treaty would serve as a legal framework for more effective collaboration between Taiwan and Belize, a diplomatic ally, to combat transnational crime.
Deputy Minister of Justice Tsai Pi-chung (蔡碧仲) said that the treaty encompasses legal procedures such as obtaining testimony and statements, freezing or forfeiting assets, and conducting searches.
Under the treaty, statements can be given by the relevant parties via videoconference, he said.
The treaty would enable the authorities in Taiwan and Belize to work as a team to combat transnational crime more efficiently and effectively, Tsai said.
The treaty was signed in September last year by Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) and Belizean Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington.
It is the nation’s seventh mutual legal assistance treaty, following similar agreements with the US, China, South Africa, Poland, Nauru and the Philippines.
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