FRANCE, ALGERIA INK NEW TERRORISM, JUDICIAL COOPERATION ACCORDS

PARIS, -- France and Algeria have signed a new convention on bilateral judicial cooperation to increase effectiveness in the fight against criminality and terrorism, a statement from the French Justice Ministry said on Thursday.

The accords were signed here Wednesday by French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas and his Algerian counterpart Tayyeb Louh and will provide "a renovated and modern framework for Franco-Algerian judicial cooperation" in the fight against organized crime and terror groups, the statement said.

In new developments, both sides will be allowed to interview suspects in each other's countries via videoconference and they also agreed on the sharing of confiscated criminal assets.

Better cooperation on exchanging criminal records electronically is also envisaged, all the while respecting the rights of privacy guaranteed under French and European law.

The French Minister praised the "intensity and quality of relations between Algeria and France in matters of Justice" and he welcomed what he said was a "constructive and fruitful dialogue" with his Algerian opposite number.

France and Algeria have vowed to boost cooperation on anti-terrorism in certain areas but relations are still lagging behind in other areas due to historic claims from Algeria that France apologies for its behavior during the colonial period and for the heavy toll of civilian casualties on the Algerian side during the War of Independence in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Source: Nam News Network