Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between Indonesia-Swiss Approved
The House Ad Hoc Committee—comprising Commission I and III—and the government approved on Thursday (2/7/2020) the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in Criminal Matters between the Republic of Indonesia and the Swiss Confederation. Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee, Sahroni, who is also Deputy Chair of Commission III—overseeing matters related to law and human rights—banged the gavel at the meeting to ratify the MLA Bill after all parties voted to accept it with some notes.
“Will we agree to take the Bill on Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Republic of Indonesia and the Swiss Confederation to the second reading at the plenary session?” Sahroni asked the assembly, which was met by a resounding “yes” at Pansus B meeting room in the parliamentary complex, Jakarta.
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and officials from Foreign Affairs Ministry participated in the meeting to represent the government. Sahroni told Parlementaria that MLA Bill was valuable to Indonesia, saying that it would become a platform to build partnerships in the area of law, particularly in the efforts to eradicate corruption and recover stolen assets.
"Praise be to Allah the process is going well. The agreement was made for the mutual benefit of the two countries, and it can be a strong legal foundation to prospective national laws related to MLA. Finally, the joint commitment can be completed after quite a long process,“ the National Democrat (Nasdem) Politician said.
Sahroni believes that Switzerland is the largest financial center in Europe and that it has the state-of-the-art information technology that Indonesia really needs. "(The agreement) is very strategic. Switzerland has quite the sophisticated technology, and we are falling a little behind with the inaccurate data information, and I think the law will certainly work to our advantage," the Jakarta constituency legislator added in his comment.
The agreement consists of 39 articles and regulate legal assistance with respect to tracing, freezing, confiscating, and seizing of assets resulting from crime. The broad scope of this MLA in criminal matters is an important element in supporting due process in the requesting country.
In keeping with the idea, the MLA may also be used for combating tax fraud. Indonesian government, through this treaty, wants to make sure that Indonesian citizens and legal entities obey the Indonesian tax regulation and do not commit tax fraud or other tax crimes.
The RI-Swiss Confederation MLA Treaty was succesfully finalized in two rounds, the first round being held in Bali in 2015. The second round was held in 2017 in Bern, Switzerland, to deliberate articles that have not been agreed upon in the first round. In the upcoming Plenary Session on July 14, 2020, the ratified agreement will be taken into second reading to be passed into law. (er/sf)