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Legislature passes Taiwan-Belize mutual legal assistance pact

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Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (right) and Belize Ambassador Diane Haylock display the mutual legal assistance treaty Sept. 26, 2020 in Taipei....

Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (right) and Belize Ambassador Diane Haylock display the mutual legal assistance treaty Sept. 26, 2020 in Taipei.... (CNA photo)

Taiwan's Legislature on Monday (April 19) passed a bill that would serve as the basis for a bilateral treaty with Belize to allow mutual legal assistance on criminal matters.

When the treaty takes effect, the two countries will be able to provide assistance to each other on criminal investigations, prosecutions, court proceedings and crime prevention, Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) said in a legislative session.

The pact will serve as a legal framework for more effective collaboration between Taiwan and Belize, two diplomatic allies, to jointly combat transnational crime, Tien added.

It will be Taiwan's seventh treaty with a foreign country on mutual legal assistance, following those established with the United States, mainland China, the Philippines, South Africa, Poland, and Nauru, Deputy Minister of Justice Tsai Pi-chung (蔡碧仲) said.

Under the new accord, defendants and witnesses will be allowed to give statements via videoconferencing, and the relevant authorities will be able to present questions during the process, according to Tsai. This will enable the two countries to work as a joint investigative team to combat transnational crime, he said.

The treaty underscores Taiwan's commitment to strengthening its judicial cooperation with Belize on criminal matters, while contributing to global crime-fighting efforts, Tsai added.


Updated : 2021-06-21 22:19 GMT+08:00