Indonesian President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo (right) speaks to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during their annual leaders' retreat at the Indonesian island of Bintan in Riau, Indonesia, on Tuesday. | INDONESIA'S PRESIDENTIAL PALACE / HANDOUT / VIA REUTERS

Indonesia and Singapore sign extradition, airspace and defense agreements

Indonesia, Singapore.

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Jakarta– Indonesia and Singapore signed on Tuesday a bilateral extradition arrangement, a move that Jakarta anticipates to help authorities in their effort to bring to trial people implicated of stashing offshore billions of dollars in state money.Senior cabinet ministers from both countries also signed bilateral arrangements covering airspace and defense in a ceremony aired on Indonesias State Secretariat YouTube channel.The finalizings follow a meeting between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the Indonesian island of Bintan as part of their yearly leaders retreat.The issue of extradition has long been a frustration for Indonesia due to the fact that of concerns about the trouble of bringing some fugitives accused of embezzling large sums during the Asian monetary crisis to justice.” The extradition treaty will enhance cooperation and combating criminal offense and send a clear, favorable signal to investors,” Prime Minister Lee stated at the signing ceremony.Under the extradition arrangement, people who had committed 31 types of criminal activity will be accountable to be extradited and it will use to offenses devoted as much as 18 years earlier, a declaration from Indonesias financial investment and maritime affairs ministry said.The arrangement would also suggest that individuals would not have the ability to get away justice by altering their citizenship, it stated.” Therefore, the application of the criminal extradition arrangement will create a deterrence impact for felonies in Indonesia and Singapore,” the statement said.In 2007, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee oversaw the finalizing of an extradition treaty and defense cooperation contract, but it was never ratified by Indonesias parliament.Indonesia has actually set up a new so-called “BLBI” task force that is going after $8 billion of bailout funds offered to bank owners and customers after the Asian monetary crisis in the late 1990s that was never repaid.The Indonesian ministrys declaration also stated the extradition arrangement ought to assist “effectively reach” those linked by the BLBI investigation.Lalola Easter Kaban of Indonesia Corruption Watch, a nongovernmental organization, welcomed the development stating it would assist in the hunt for corruption suspects who might have gotten away to Singapore looking for to maintain “impunity” from police agencies.The other arrangements signed in between the countries consisted of one offering Indonesia more control of airspace over the Riau and Natuna islands, areas close to both countries, and a defense agreement.

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