Jakarta. Indonesia and Singapore will ink an extradition treaty during leaders’ retreat in Bintan Island on Tuesday, thus making it easier for Indonesia to catch its graft fugitives.
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said that the Indonesian government had been seeking this extradition treaty since the 1990s.
“Finally, after a lengthy process, the Indonesia-Singapore extradition treaty can be carried out,” Yasonna said in a statement.
The Indonesia-Singapore extradition treaty enables the governments to surrender an individual to the requesting country for prosecution, trial, or punishment for an extraditable offense.
“The extradition treaty will cause a deterrence effect for criminals in Indonesia and Singapore,” Yasonna added.
The agreement will further restrict Indonesian criminals from fleeing, given that Indonesia already had signed similar treaties with its regional partners, among others, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, China, and Hong Kong SAR.
Indonesia and Singapore are parties to the mutual legal assistance in criminal matters deal between Asean countries in 2008.
“If the two countries ratify the extradition treaty soon, then the law enforcement agencies of both countries can make use of this treaty to prevent and combat transnational crimes like corruption and terrorism,” Yasonna said.
Both countries already signed an extradition treaty in April 2007, witnessed by then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
However, the treaty has not come into force pending ratification by the Indonesian House of Representatives.
The Indonesian parliament, for its part, objects to the treaty being attached to a bilateral defense cooperation agreement that requires Indonesia to provide Kayu Ara Island near Sumatra as a training ground and shooting practice area for the Singaporean military.
Both extradition and defense cooperation agreements were put into a single package signed by their respective defense minister.