Jakarta (ANTARA) - Poland has become the first European Union (EU) country to have a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in Criminal Matters agreement with Indonesia, according to the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

"It is very important as an entry point for Indonesia to carry out law enforcement cooperation with other European Union member countries," the ministry's General Legal Administration Director General Cahyo R. Muzhar noted in a statement from his ministry here on Thursday.

The Indonesian and Polish governments finalized the bilateral agreement on MLA in Criminal Matters in Warsaw on Wednesday (June 12) as a joint commitment to building cross-border law enforcement.

On that occasion, the Indonesian government's delegation was led by Muzhar, while the Polish government's delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Justice Krzysztof Smiszek.

"MLA is an international cooperation mechanism that allows a country to request assistance from another country to obtain evidence to support investigation, prosecution, and examination processes in court," Muzhar elaborated.

He explained that the MLA agreement draft consists of 28 articles that include requests for mutual assistance in criminal matters in the form of identification and search for people, taking witness statements, submitting court letters or documents, as well as carrying out searches and confiscation.

Indonesia and Poland have been conducting talks regarding the MLA bilateral cooperation since 2018 and have only reached an agreement in June 2024. The agreement will be signed by the law ministers of the two countries in late 2024.

Muzhar also highlighted that since 2013, MLA requests from Poland to Indonesia had reached 54, of which most were related to fraud and cybercrime.

He further affirmed that Indonesia and Poland have a strong role in their respective regions, namely Indonesia in ASEAN and Poland in Central Europe. Moreover, Poland plays a strategic role, as it will hold the presidency of the EU in 2025.

"Poland is a strategic entry point for the development of Indonesian exports to Central and Eastern Europe," he remarked.

Moreover, he stated that the finalization of the MLA agreement provides a strategic contribution to bolstering the two countries' bilateral relations.

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Translator: Fath Putra, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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