Treaty between the government of the United States of America and the government of the Kingdom of Thailand on mutual assistance
in criminal matters.
Signed at Bangkok, March 19, 1986.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
The White House, April 22, 1988
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 Kingdom of Thailand on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Bangkok on March 19, 1986. 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 more effectively criminal activities. The Treaty should be an effective tool to prosecute a wide variety of modern criminals including members of drug cartels, "white-collar criminals," and terrorists. The Treaty is self-executing and utilizes existing statutory authority.
The Treaty provides for a broad range of cooperation in criminal matters. Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: (1) taking testimony or statements of witnesses; (2) providing documents, records, and evidence; (3) serving documents; (4) executing requests for searches and seizures; (5) transferring persons in custody for testimonial purposes; (6) locating persons; (7) initiating proceedings upon request; and (8) assisting in forfeiture proceedings.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty and give its advice and consent to ratification.
LETTER OF SUBMITTAL
Department of State, Washington, April 18, 1988.
The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Bangkok on March 19, 1986. I recommend that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have entered into force with Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Turkey; others have been concluded (but not yet entered into force) with the Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco, and the United Kingdom on behalf of the Cayman Islands. The Treaty contains many provisions similar to those in the other treaties as well as some innovations.
The Treaty will not require further implementing legislation and will utilize the existing authority of the Federal courts, particularly 28 U.S.C. 1782.
Article 1 provides for assistance in "investigations, prosecutions and other proceedings relating to criminal matters." The Treaty thereby provides for assistance at the investigative stage (such as grand jury proceedings), as well as after formal charges have been filed. Assistance under the Treaty will include: taking testimony or statements of persons; provision of documents, records and evidence; serving documents; executing requests for searches and seizures; transferring persons in custody for testimonial proposes; locating witnesses; and other forms of assistance. The article states that it is not intended to create rights in private parties either to secure assistance or to suppress or exclude evidence obtained under the Treaty. The article also defines military offenses and provides that the treaty does not apply to such offenses.
Article 2 specifies the limited bases under the Treaty in which assistance may be denied by the Requested State. These bases are when the request would prejudice the sovereignty, security, or other essential public interests of the Requested State may postpone execution of a request if its execution would interfere with an ongoing investigation or prosecution. This article also provides that, before the Central Authority of the Requested State refuses a request, it should try to determine whether there is a way to render the assistance, subject to specified terms and conditions. If the Requesting State accepts the assistance subject to limitations, it must comply with those limitations.