Message to the Senate Transmitting the Belgium-United States Legal Assistance Treaty


March 29, 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 United States of America and the Kingdom of Belgium on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Washington on January 28, 1988. 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) the taking of testimony or statements of witnesses; (2) the provision of documents, records, and evidence; (3) the execution of requests for searches and seizures; (4) the serving of documents; and (5) the provision of assistance in locating, tracing, immobilizing, seizing, and forfeiting proceeds of crime, and restitution to the victims of crime.


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


Ronald Reagan


The White House,


March 29, 1988.