Sri Lanka says regional deal will help combat terrorist financing

Aug 27, 2008 (LBO) – A legal co-operation deal signed by south Asian leaders at a summit in Sri Lanka earlier this month will help combat terrorist financing and cross-border crime, the foreign affairs ministry said Wednesday.
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The South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters will establish a legal basis for regional cooperation among member states, it said in a statement.

“Article 13 of the Convention operates to extend mutual cooperation to seize or confiscate funds collected for the purposes of financing terrorism and to prosecute persons and groups involved in such activities,” it said.

This complies with the obligation of individual states under United Nations Security Council mandate to prevent financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the wilful collection of funds for terrorist acts.

The ministry said the SAARC convention seeks to provide the legal basis to harmonize different domestic legal systems of member countries.

This would facilitate mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, such a

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