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Government urges new police accord with Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein

The Swiss government on Wednesday called on parliament to approve new police cooperation accords with Germany, Autria and Liechtenstein, saying Switzerland must not become a haven for criminals.

This content was published on November 24, 1999 - 13:20

The Swiss government on Wednesday called on parliament to approve new police cooperation accords with Germany, Autria and Liechtenstein, saying Switzerland must not become a haven for criminals.

The seven-member cabinet is urging parliamentarians to approve a draft accord with Germany and a joint-agreement with Austria and Liechtenstein – all of which are neighbour countries of Switzerland.

The main thrust of the draft accords is to step up cross-border cooperation between police forces in their fight against crime, illegal migration and terrorism.

If ratified by all parliaments, the agreements would also boost the flow of information on police investigations, organised crime activities as well as mutual assistance in times of natural catastrophes and major disasters.

The Swiss-German accord also spells out the legal basis for undercover police operations.

The Swiss government is recommending parliamentarians to approve the new accords in light of the European Union’s crackdown on organised crime over the past years.

The Swiss authorities fear that unless Switzerland takes swift action, criminals and criminal organisations might try to use the country as a safe haven for their illegal operations.

In light of the EU’s crime-fighting measures, the Swiss government decided in 1995 to step up cooperation with its immediate neighbours, most of which are EU members.

In 1998, Switzerland signed anti-crime accords with France and Italy. The Swiss parliament approved those accords earlier this year but they still need to be ratified by parliaments in Rome and Paris.

From staff and wire reports.

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