US, Bermuda sign Mutual Legal Assistance treaty

By added on 16/04/2012

A new treaty, providing for cooperation on criminal matters between the US and Bermuda came into force on Thursday with the exchange of the “instruments of ratification”, reports the Royal Gazette.

The US — Bermuda Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty was originally signed in 2009 but only ratified by President Barack Obama and the US Senate early this year.

“The entry into force of the MLAT creates for the first time a treaty-based relationship of mutual legal assistance between the US and Bermuda,” reads a press release from the US Consulate.

“It allows both Bermuda and the United States to counter criminal activities more effectively.

“The Treaty should enhance our ability to investigate and prosecute a wide variety of crimes, including economic crimes and money laundering…”

The two countries will assist each other in document service, producing evidence, executing search and seizures, freezing and forfeiting assets which may be proceeds or instruments of crime and other areas.

The US Department of Justice and the Bermuda Ministry of Justice will be in charge of implementing the Treaty.

“I welcome this major step in advancing law enforcement cooperation between the US and Bermuda,” said US Consul General Grace Shelton.

“The Treaty builds on an already strong base of bilateral collaboration, and I would like to thank Premier Cox and other representatives of the Government of Bermuda — in particular Attorney General Kim Wilson — who were instrumental in helping to conclude the negotiations that led to the signing of this treaty.”