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Maldives, India sign treaty on mutual legal assistance

Raif Amyl Jalyl
04 September 2019, MVT 09:21
Top officials of Maldives and India at the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters' exchange ceremony. PHOTO: FOREIGN MINISTRY
Raif Amyl Jalyl
04 September 2019, MVT 09:21

Maldives, on Tuesday, signed the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with India to extend assistance and support in criminal investigations and prosecutions.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maldives and India signed the treaty in Paradise Island Resort on the sidelines of the ongoing Indian Ocean Conference 2019.

This marks the first instance of Maldives signing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with any country.

Maldives was represented in the treaty exchange ceremony by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham, whereas the Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Ambassador of India to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir represented India.

The treaty document was exchanged by Foreign Minister Shahid and Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar.

Compiled under the full title of 'Treaty between the Republic of Maldives and the Republic of India on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters', the treaty was approved by the parliament on July 8.

Out of the 75 parliamentarians in attendance, 65 MPs' voted in favour while 11 voted against signing the document.

The treaty gained positive votes from lawmakers of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) which holds a super-majority in parliament.

The treaty is intended to further enhance historic ties between Maldives and India as well as improve mutual capacities for investigation and prosecution of crime through cooperation and legal assistance.

The MLAT will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation concerning investigations, prosecution, and tracing and confiscation of funds meant to finance acts of terrorism.

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