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Indonesia Leads the 3rd ASEAN SOM-MLAT Meeting in Bali

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Indonesia Leads the 3rd ASEAN SOM-MLAT Meeting in Bali

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The 3rd Asean SOM-MLAT meeting chaired by Indonesia in Bali Province. Photo: Special

NASIONALXPOS.CO.ID, DENPASAR – Indonesia hosted the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Central Authorities on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (3rd SOMMLAT) and the 9th ASEAN Senior Law Officials’ Meeting on ASEAN Extradition Treaty (9th ASLOM WG on AET) in Bali, which will be held back-to-back on April 29-May 3 2024.

The participating countries of the 3rd SOMMLAT & 9th ASLOM WG on AET are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Director General of General Legal Administration (AHU) of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham), Cahyo R. Muzhar said SOM-MLAT is a regular meeting forum for high-ranking officials from ASEAN member countries which are state parties to the Mutual Assistance Agreement in Criminal Matters or Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaty (MLA Treaty).

“The MLA Treaty is a very important legal instrument for ASEAN member countries to strengthen efforts and capacity to implement cross-legal cooperation in fighting criminal acts that require involvement or assistance from authorities in other ASEAN countries,” said Cahyo.

Cahyo added that the MLA Treaty of ASEAN countries can also be used as an effective tool in assisting the process of collecting evidence and confiscating assets for transnational criminal acts in the financial sector, such as corruption and money laundering.

Director General of General Legal Administration of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights Cahyo R. Muzhar (left) with Head of the Bali Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Pramella Yunidar Pasaribu (right).
Photo: Special

In the upcoming 3rd SOMMLAT meeting, Cahyo said several agendas will be discussed, including guidelines that will be used as a guide in accessing the ASEAN MLA Treaty for non-ASEAN countries as well as the MLA Request model that can be a reference for ASEAN countries in request legal assistance from other ASEAN countries.

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After the implementation of the 3rd SOMMLAT on 29-30 April 2024, Indonesia will also host the 9th ASLOM Working Group on ASEAN Extradition Treaty (ASLOM WG on AET) on 1-3 May 2024.

“ASEAN countries agreed to intensify negotiations so that the text of the ASEAN Extradition Agreement can be finalized in 2024,” said Cahyo.

The ASEAN Extradition Agreement will be the legal framework and basis for ASEAN countries to hand over criminal perpetrators, defendants, and convicts who have fled from one ASEAN country to another ASEAN country.

Cahyo said that as the host of the 3rd SOM-MLAT and 9th ASLOM WG on AET, Indonesia will take advantage of this opportunity to fight for the interests of Indonesian law enforcement which remains in line with the spirit of law enforcement in ASEAN countries.

“This meeting and the results achieved will be very crucial in supporting efforts towards a safe and peaceful ASEAN region, by the mandate of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025, especially amidst the recent rise in various transnational crimes such as online scams in ASEAN. Therefore, Indonesia actively continues to take the initiative in leading the negotiations, including by hosting the two meetings,” concluded Director General Cahyo.

The 3rd SOM-MLAT under Indonesian leadership as Chair, an important agreement was reached, namely the final draft guidelines for accession on non AMS to the ASEAN MLAT and its instrument of accession. Those instruments are important documents that will serve as guidelines for non-ASEAN member countries to accede to the ASEAN MLA agreement.

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