Wednesday, December 14, 2022
From 5 to 9 December, Graziella Marok-Wachter, Liechtenstein’s Minister of Infrastructure & Justice, traveled to Washington, DC.
The Minister met with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and top officials of the U.S. Department of Justice for bilateral discussions. Both Liechtenstein and the U.S. praised their good bilateral cooperation in the field of justice and underlined their common commitment to the rule of law and democracy. Minister Marok-Wachter assured Attorney General Garland of Liechtenstein's full cooperation in this regard. The meetings at the U.S. Department of Justice also addressed additional joint measures to fight against kleptocracy and corruption and new areas of common interest, including cryptocurrencies and environmental crime. The Minister was accompanied by Liechtenstein’s Prosecutor General Dr. Robert Wallner. Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs Bruce Swartz, the Director of the newly created Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team Eun Young Choi, and other Department of Justice officials also participated.
From left: Liechtenstein Chief Prosecutor Robert Wallner, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Minister of Infrastructure and Justice Graziella Marok-Wachter, and Georg Sparber, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the US.
Over past years, cooperation on judicial matters has been close between Liechtenstein and the U.S. The 2002 Treaty between Liechtenstein and the United States on International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters continues to provide a solid legal basis for that cooperation. Common interests of Liechtenstein and the U.S. in multilateral fora were also positively highlighted. Justice Minister Marok-Wachter assured the U.S. of Liechtenstein's support for the upcoming U.S. chairmanship of the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Also while in Washington, Justice Minister Marok-Wachter participated in the high-level segment and official opening of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Washington, DC. At the invitation of the U.S., as well as Transparency International, Liechtenstein was represented for the first time at the ministerial level. The IACC is considered the world's largest forum for exchange between states, civil society and the private sector on current challenges in the fight against corruption. In her remarks at the closed high-level segment of the IACC, the Minister of Justice underscored the important role of the private sector in the fight against corruption.
From left: Ambassador Georg Sparber, Minsister Graziella Marok-Wachter, Chief Prosecutor Robert Wallner and Max Rüddiser, Secretary General, Ministry of Infrastructure and Justice.
In the framework of the IACC, the Justice Minister presented Liechtenstein's cooperation with the Basel Institute on Governance in the fight against "green corruption" (full video of event here). This refers to corrupt practices linked to environmental crimes, which are estimated to generate between USD 110 billion and USD 281 billion per year in illicit profits. Liechtenstein is one of the initial supporters of a Basel Institute project that aims to uncover such illegal money flows and thus contribute to the prosecution of organized crime in the environmental sector.
Minister Graziella Marok-Wachter with Senator Chuck Grassley.
During her U.S. visit Justice Minister Marok-Wachter also held consultations on the future of Ukraine sanctions. Both the EU and the U.S. are currently engaged in intensive discussions on making sanctioned Russian assets available for the reconstruction of Ukraine. Liechtenstein co-hosted a round-table discussion with experts at the renowned Washington think tank Wilson Center entitled “From freezing to seizing? The future of sanctions”. The Justice Minister also met with the Ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley to discuss this and other matters.
From Freezing to Seizing? The Future of Sanctions
During a dinner in honor of the Minister Marok-Wachter at the Liechtenstein Embassy, these and other topics were further discussed with FATF President Raja Kumar, Basel Institute President Peter Maurer, Transparency International CEO Daniel Eriksson, and high-ranking representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, the World Bank, and USAID. For Minister Marok-Wachter this marked the successful conclusion of an intensive work week in Washington.