Switzerland and Indonesia sign deal to tackle international crime

Swiss minister Karin Keller-Sutter with her Indonesian counterpart. © KEYSTONE / PETER KLAUNZER

On Monday Switzerland and Indonesia signed an agreement on mutual assistance on criminal matters, with the goal of working together to combat international crime.

This content was published on February 4, 2019 - 21:50

The deal was penned in Bern by newly-inaugurated Swiss justice minister, Karin Keller-Sutter, and Indonesian minister for law and human rights, Yasonna Laoly, and will come into effect once legally ratified by both countries – in the Swiss case, after parliamentary approval.

According to a statement by the Swiss Federal Office for JusticeExternal link (FOJ), the agreement provides a basis in international law in which both countries can cooperate to detect and prosecute international criminal activities such as corruption and money laundering.

+ Switzerland and Indonesia signed a free trade deal in December 2018

Based on the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and on the Federal Act on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the deal will reduce formal requirements and speed up mutual legal assistance between the two countries.

Human rights are expressly referred to in the treaty: if violations of fundamental rights are suspected, the FOJ writes, Switzerland can refuse to grant assistance.

The agreement is similar to others signed by the Alpine Nation in recent years as part of a government push to increase international cooperation and transparency and “ensure the integrity of the country as a financial centre”, as the FOJ put it.

It also comes just several months after Switzerland and Indonesia signed a free trade agreement that notably guarantees equal levels of patent protection for both Swiss and Indonesian goods produced in the Asian country.

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