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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 4, 2011
Joint Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder and Italian Minister of Justice Angelino Alfano Regarding Continued Cooperation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Italian Minister of Justice Angelino Alfano today met at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., to re-affirm the joint commitment of the United States and Italy to strengthen cooperation in the ongoing fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime.   The two countries enjoy a long bilateral relationship in justice matters, and also work together to promote broader international collaboration through multilateral treaties like the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (known as the Palermo Convention) and the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

 

“For three decades, the United States and Italy have had notable successes in jointly fighting organized crime, terrorism and other common threats to the security and prosperity of our two nations,” said Attorney General Holder.   “For example, Italian authorities recently arrested a fugitive in Sicily who is charged with racketeering conspiracy in the United States, and coordinated that arrest with the largest one-day sweep of La Cosa Nostra defendants in U.S. history.   We are grateful for the close collaboration that is provided daily by the Italian Ministry of Justice under the leadership of Minister Alfano, as well as from prosecutors and police throughout Italy.”

 

Law enforcement officials in the United States and Italy work together on a broad range of issues.   Counterterrorism remains a top priority, and officials tackle criminal activities from drug trafficking to money laundering, and from illegal arms exports to cybercrime.

 

“Bilateral relations between the United States and Italy in the law enforcement arena represent an important pillar of global legal and security cooperation,” said Italian Minister of Justice Alfano.   “I greatly appreciate working with U.S. Attorney General Holder, whose clear vision and problem-solving approach have added significant value to our security relations.”

 

In their discussions, Attorney General Holder and Minister Alfano underlined the importance of maintaining the excellent bilateral exchange of information and evidence between the United States and Italy in the fight against organized crime and terrorism, in particular under the recently updated treaties between the two countries on extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.   These treaties streamline communication in urgent fugitive matters and incorporate technological developments like video-conferencing for taking witness testimony, while also providing a high level of protection for personal information.

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