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Hong Kong and Russia sign agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and transfer of sentenced persons (with photos)

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     The Secretary for Security, Mr Tang Ping-keung, and the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Mr Konstantin Chuychenko, signed  bilateral agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters (MLA) and on transfer of sentenced persons (TSP) through video conference today (September 21) on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Government of the Russian Federation (Russia) respectively.

     “Both Hong Kong and Russia are committed players in the international efforts to fight crimes. The signing of the agreements on MLA and TSP today represents an important step forward in legal co-operation between Hong Kong and Russia,” Mr Tang said at the signing ceremony.

     Under the Basic Law, the Government of the HKSAR may, with the authorisation of the Central People’s Government, make appropriate arrangements with foreign states for reciprocal juridical assistance.

     The MLA agreement between the Government of the HKSAR and the Government of Russia contains the essential features and safeguards of international agreements of this type. Assistance covered by the agreement includes identifying and locating persons, serving documents, taking evidence, executing requests for search and seizure, providing information, and confiscating proceeds of crime. 

     The TSP agreement embodies the shared conviction of Hong Kong and Russia that allowing sentenced persons to return to their places of origin, where there are no language or cultural barriers and where friends and relatives can pay more regular visits, is conducive to their rehabilitation. Hong Kong’s policy is therefore to facilitate such transfers between Hong Kong and other jurisdictions as far as possible.

     A list of the major bilateral international agreements (including MLA and TSP agreements) of the HKSAR which have come into force can be found at www.doj.gov.hk/en/external/international_agreements.html.