27 February 2011

Prosecutor General: Absence of Extradition Law Has Made it Difficult to Combat Organized Crime

LUSA – Dili, 20 Feb (Lusa) – In her annual report the Prosecutor General of the Republic alerted that the absence of an Extradition Law has made it difficult for international cooperation between Timor-Leste and other countries in the fight against organized crime and in the compliance with international conventions ratified by it.

In the report document, obtained by Lusa directly from the Prosecutor General, Ana Pessoa, of seven pieces of draft legislation sent to the government by her, only one relating to the structure of the technical services and administrative support units were approved, despite not having staffing and without any amendment to the Law on the Office of the Public Prosecutor.  

In this raft of laws yet to be progressed, Ana Pessoa emphasized the importance of the Extradition Law, which was drafted by the Prosecutor General’s Office in 2009.

“Without this law, it becomes unnecessarily complex for us to move forward with international cooperation, on issues regarding organized crime, whether it be money laundering, human trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking or corruption, so as to comply with the international obligations we have assumed and that have been ratified by the National Parliament.”   

The Prosecutor General gave as examples the United Nations Convention on Anti-Corruption, the Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime, especially Women and Children and the Trafficking of Migrants by land, by sea and by air, and even the Hague Convention on International Adoption.

“The failure to enact this law also makes difficult the work of the government itself, which is left without legal means to move ahead with the signing of bilateral judicial agreements, which means, straight away with Indonesia and Australia,” she underscored.

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