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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 31, 2000


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 France on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Paris on December 10, 1998. I transmit also, for the Senate's information, an explanatory note agreed between the Parties regarding the application of certain provisions. The report of the Department of State with respect to the Treaty is enclosed.

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 to assist in the prosecution of a wide variety of crimes, including terrorism and drug trafficking offenses. The Treaty is self-executing.

The Treaty provides for a broad range of cooperation in criminal matters. Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: obtaining the testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and items of evidence; locating or identifying persons or items; serving documents; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and rendering any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the Requested State.

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


                                 THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                 January 31, 2000.

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