U.S, Germany Sign Bilateral Agreements for Mutual Legal Assistance

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Henry Gollisky
On April 18, 2006, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Germany Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries signed agreements supplementing the U.S.-German Extradition Treaty and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). These agreements implement two treaties between the European Union and the United States, signed June 25, 2003, that modernize the cooperation in law enforcement. The U.S.-German extradition treaty, in effect since 1978, regulates extradition for the purpose of criminal prosecution or law enforcement. Notable provisions include the requirement that criminal offenses be subject to penalties pursuant to the laws of the requesting and extraditing state, and be punishable by at least one year of imprisonment. Under the treaty, Germany will not extradite individuals who could face the death penalty in the United States. The newly-signed supplementary treaty adds language protecting individual privacy and simplifying the procedure for notarizing and forwarding files relating to extradition matters.