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


April 13, 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 Commonwealth of The Bahamas on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Nassau on June 12 and August 18, 1987, with related notes. 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 criminal activities more effectively. The Treaty should be an effective tool in prosecuting a wide variety of modern criminals, including members of drug cartels, and ``white-collar criminals.'' 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) provision of documents, records, and evidence; (3) execution of requests for searches and seizures; (4) transfer of persons in custody for testimonial purposes; (5) serving documents; (6) locating persons; (7) exchanging information; (8) immobilizing forfeitable assets; and (9) any other matter mutually agreed upon.


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


Ronald Reagan


The White House,


April 13, 1988.