Signing of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Between The United States and Kazakhstan

On February 20, 2015, Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Department of Justice Counselor for International Affairs Bruce C. Swartz and Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askhat Daulbayev signed a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. The signing of this Treaty marks an important step forward by the United States and Kazakhstan to enhance law enforcement cooperation and to protect the law-abiding citizens of both countries

The Treaty provides a formal intergovernmental mechanism for the provision of evidence and other forms of law enforcement assistance in criminal investigations, prosecutions, and related proceedings. Under the Treaty, assistance can be provided in taking testimony of witnesses, releasing documents and records, locating and identifying persons or evidence, serving documents, executing requests for searches and seizures, transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes, tracing and forfeiting the proceeds of crime, and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested State.

Mutual legal assistance treaties are an excellent means for the United States to strengthen its ability to fight terrorism and transnational crime.  The United States has negotiated such treaties since the late 1970s and currently has over 70 in force.  Following signature, this treaty will be transmitted to the U.S. Senate for advice and consent to ratification.