Department of Justice Seal

Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey on Bilateral Law Enforcement Cooperation with Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia
Monday, June 9, 2008

Good afternoon. I want to thank Attorney General Supandji for taking time to meet with us, for his hospitality during our visit, and for his dedication to maintaining the close relationship between the United States and Indonesia.

The cooperation between our two countries on matters related to law enforcement and counterterrorism has been substantial, and citizens of both of our countries are safer as a result.

One of the primary goals of any government is to ensure that the government itself serves the people faithfully and free of corruption. Without the assurance that their public servants are acting solely in the interests of the people and within the limits of the law, our citizens can have no confidence that justice is being done, or that the laws have any meaning at all.

So I applaud the Attorney General and the rest of the government for taking measures to prosecute those who commit corrupt acts in Indonesia. And I am pleased that we have signed today a letter of agreement to support a new High Level Corruption Task Force to assist you in building the capacity of your prosecutors to bring these cases. The United States will support this task force by providing up to $750,000 in computers and office equipment, the service of American and international corruption experts, and case support funds as needed.

This anti-corruption initiative by the government of Indonesia is an important one, and we ? as your friends -- stand ready to support and assist you. The United States Department of Justice has advisors and liaison officers here in Jakarta and throughout the region who have built strong relationships with your National Police, the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Law. They are available to help you build your anti-corruption institutions and the legal mechanisms to recover stolen state assets. Recovery of these assets will be invaluable in your future efforts.

Just as confidence in the honesty of government officials is essential to our citizens, so too is the security of the people. Like Indonesia, the United States has faced terrorist threats and terrorist attacks. We share the challenge of combating violent extremists, while protecting basic civil liberties. Indonesia has been effective in the apprehension and conviction of terrorists and extremist organizations -- more than 200 terrorists since the first bombing in Bali in 2002.

The United States has lifted its travel warning on Indonesia based on the objective improvement in security conditions. We commend and support Indonesia?s efforts to combat terrorism.

Finally, I want to recognize the valuable cooperation between our two countries in combating the terrible crime of human trafficking. This modern-day slavery goes on all over the globe, as traffickers, hidden from the eyes of the law, prey upon the vulnerable, deceiving them and then coercing them to engage in prostitution or forced labor.

Fighting this crime has been a priority for the United States, and I know that Indonesia has taken important steps in this fight as well, including the passage of your Anti-Trafficking in Persons law last year. The increase in prosecutions under this new law has been a positive sign. We stand ready to help your prosecutors and police in any way we can to help you succeed in this important struggle.

I'd like to thank Attorney General Supandji for the strong leadership he has shown on these issues, and the Indonesian people for their friendship.

Thank you.