The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 15, 2002

Message to the Senate of the United States

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Belize on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Belize on September 19, 2000, and a related exchange of notes signed at Belize on September 18 and 22, 2000. I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Treaty.

The Treaty is one of a series of modern mutual legal assistance treaties being negotiated by the United States in order to counter criminal activities more effectively. The Treaty should be an effective tool to assist in the prosecution of a wide variety of crimes, including drug traf-ficking, money laundering, and terrorism offenses. The Treaty is self-executing.

The Treaty provides for a broad range of cooperation in criminal matters. Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; locating or identifying persons; serving documents; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, restitution to the victims of crime and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the State from whom the assistance is requested.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty, and give its advice and consent to ratification.

July 15, 2002.

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