Malaysia, Britain sign pact on transnational crime

(Bernama) – Malaysia and Britain on Wednesday signed a treaty to cooperate in the prevention and combating of transnational criminal activities.

The two countries signed the Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signifying both governments’ highest commitment in the matter and providing for cooperation between their respective law enforcement authorities.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and Britain’s High Commissioner to Malaysia William Boyd McCleary inked the pact on behalf of their countries. Mutual assistance in criminal matters is the process by which states request and render assistance in the collection of evidence to be used in a criminal matter, for example an investigation or criminal proceedings.

As such, this treaty intends to facilitate this process between Kuala Lumpur and London by putting in place a formal bilateral mechanism for the gathering of relevant evidence in each other’s countries for the purpose of criminal investigations and criminal proceedings in their respective countries without affecting the existing informal mechanism.

“This treaty has taken two and a half years to conclude and represents a significant advancement of cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of Malaysia and the United Kingdom,” said Abdul Gani in his remarks before the signing ceremony.

The treaty features a broad range of assistance, including the taking of evidence by way of judicial process, the taking of voluntary statements of persons, the provision of relevant documents, records and items. Making arrangements for persons to assist in an investigation or appear as a witness, executing search and seizure, effecting service of documents.