Kazakhstan, Vietnam to provide mutual legal assistance on criminal cases

ASTANA – Kazakhstan and Vietnam will provide mutual legal assistance on criminal cases, following the Kazakh Mazhilis’ (lower house of Parliament) approval of a bill on the ratification of a treaty regulating assistance and investigative actions between the two countries at a late February plenary session.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz.

The treaty was signed in Hanoi, Vietnam in June 2017. Kazakhstan has signed and ratified similar treaties with 27 other countries and is developing similar agreements with Cuba, Greece and North Macedonia.

“The treaty governs the provision of legal assistance in criminal cases and provides for the investigative actions necessary to establish the accused’s guilt of a crime. This is a standard treaty, providing for the delivery and transfer of documents and confiscation of property and proceeds from criminal activity. The agreement regulates the conditions and procedure for the provision of legal assistance, as well as circumstances precluding the possibility of its provision,” said Kazakh Deputy Prosecutor General Andrey Lukin in the Mazhilis while presenting the bill on the ratification.

Provision of assistance may be fully or partially withheld when executing a request that is contrary to legislation or international treaties or may damage the sovereignty, security and public order of the requested party and if there is reason to believe that a person is subject to criminal prosecution because of his or her race, gender, religion, nationality or political beliefs.

Lukin noted Kazakh-Vietnamese cooperation has continuously developed since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992. Vietnam is a key trade partner for Kazakhstan in Southeast Asia, with the Kazakh-Vietnamese Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic and Scientific-technical Cooperation operating since 1997. Trade turnover between the two countries was $233.2 million in 2013, $271.9 million in 2014, $205.8 million in 2015, $392.5 million in 2016, $542.7 million in 2017 and more than $500 million in 2018.

Vietnam exports telephones, computers, electronic components and agricultural products to Kazakhstan, mostly importing chemicals, ores, minerals and wheat from its Central Asian partner. Cooperation between the two countries in transport and logistics has particularly great potential, noted Kazakh Ambassador to Vietnam Beketzhan Zhumakhanov at an Oct. 24 press briefing in Hanoi.

The treaty will need to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev before it is fully ratified by the country.