Entry into force of the treaty on mutual legal assistance between the Kingdom and South Korea
A senior official from the Ministry of Justice said that the mutual legal assistance treaty in criminal matters between Cambodia and friendly countries is important to enhance cooperation, prevent cross-border misdemeanors or crimes, while a society organization civil is worried that it could be a political tool to curb an anti-government movement from abroad.
State Secretary and Justice Ministry Spokesman Chin Malin made the remarks as the ministry announced details of such a treaty between Cambodia and South Korea that would come into effect on February 24.
Malin said the comprehensive cooperation treaty consisted of three articles.
The first article establishes mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the second allows the transfer of prisoners and the third deals with the ratification of the treaty.
“The treaty strengthens cooperation in the field of criminal justice and will help the two governments to suppress cross-border criminal offences. Through this treaty we will have enhanced information exchange, cooperation in the execution of arrest warrants and cooperation in the exchange of legal documents with the necessary legal procedures in place for all of this to happen enacted by the law in every country,” he said.
He added that the mutual assistance treaty is important to strengthen cooperation among the signatory countries in reducing and suppressing cross-border offenses and crimes.
“In the past, Cambodia has entered into mutual assistance agreements on police and criminal justice matters with countries in the ASEAN region and some other friendly countries. We will continue to strive to negotiate and sign these treaties with all friendly countries with whom we cooperate,” Malin said.
The President of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, Pa Chanroeun, agreed that cooperation treaties on criminal justice issues between Cambodia and friendly countries are a positive thing and will increase the efficiency of judicial authorities in the country. Cambodia.
However, he warned that if this increased efficiency was then used as a political tool, it would be a violation of human rights and an undemocratic move by the Cambodian government.
“If this treaty is used as a political tool to suppress any political movement that is part of the opposition to the government or the ruling party, then this agreement will restrict our rights and freedoms.
“There is a danger that this treaty could be used to violate the human rights of Cambodians and to diminish the strength of democracy in Cambodia, especially since it could affect some Khmer political activists who are currently in South Korea. South,” he said.
King Norodom Sihamoni issued a royal proclamation enacting the Law on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Korea on November 14, 2020.
The stated purpose of the law is to define mutual legal assistance in criminal justice matters between Cambodia and foreign states by establishing relevant procedural procedures regarding criminal offenses, as well as for the freezing of assets and seizure of property, with the aim of strengthening and expanding the possibilities for international cooperation.