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Bill Clinton Administration: Statement on U.S.-Israel Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

(April 2, 1998)

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 the State of Israel on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Tel Aviv on January 26, 1998, and a related exchange of notes signed the same date. 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 for the purpose of countering criminal activities more effectively. The Treaty should be an effective tool to assist in the prosecution of a wide variety of modern criminals, including those involved in terrorism, other violent crimes, drug trafficking, money laundering, and other white collar crime. 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; serving documents; locating or identifying persons or items; transferring persons in custody for testimony or for other assistance; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to seizure, immobilization and forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; executing procedures involving experts; and providing any other form of assistance appropriate under the laws of the Requested State.

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

William J. Clinton
The White House, April 2, 1998.

Sources: Public Papers of the President