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Legislature adopts Taiwan-Belize mutual legal assistance treaty

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Legislature adopts Taiwan-Belize mutual legal assistance treaty

Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Taiwan's Legislature on Tuesday ratified the treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the governments of Taiwan and Belize, which will allow them to cooperate on crime prevention and prosecution.

In a joint session, the Foreign and National Defense Committee and the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee unanimously agreed to adopt the bilateral accord, without going through caucus discussions.

The treaty comprises 22 articles under which the two countries will be able assist each other in the areas of crime prevention, criminal investigation, prosecution, and court procedures.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), who attended the legislative session, said the treaty will serve as a legal framework for more effective collaboration between Taiwan and Belize, one of its diplomatic allies, to combat transnational crime.

According to Deputy Justice Minister Tsai Pi-chung (蔡碧仲), the treaty encompasses legal procedures such obtaining testimony and statements, freezing or forfeiture of assets, and conducting searches.

Under the treaty, statements can be given by the relevant parties via videoconferencing, he said.

The arrangements will enable authorities in Taiwan and Belize to work as a team and to combat transnational crime more efficiently and effectively, Tsai said.

The treaty was signed last September by Taiwan's Justice Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) in Taipei and Belize's Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington in Belize City.

It is Taiwan's seventh mutual legal assistance treaty with another country, following similar agreements with the United States, China, the Philippines, South Africa, Poland, and Nauru.

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