Minister Malenica's visit to USA – countering cybercrime and fighting corruption more effectively a priority of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration

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Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica is on an official visit to the United States of America. The main topic of the visit is the countering of cybercrime and the emergence of new forms of abuse of cryptocurrencies, collection of electronic evidence and more effective figh against corruption.

On Tuesday 15 November, Minister Malenica met with Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite (US Attorney General is the counterpart of a justice minister) and Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice. They talked about strengthening bilateral cooperation between the United States and Croatia in the field of countering cybercrime by establishing a better legislative framework, strengthening judicial institutions and providing additional training for judicial officials on identifying the risks for new forms of cybercrime through ICITAP (International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program) and OPDAT (Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training).

They highlighted the importance of establishing a quality legislative framework for the collection of electronic evidence and of continuing the dialogue between the United States and the European Union on the conclusion of an agreement on cross-border access to electronic evidence in judicial cooperation.

Minister Malenica stressed that technological development carries numerous risks in the field of cybercrime. Rapid technological developments and innovations lead to new forms of crime, and it is therefore important to establish quality transnational cooperation to help countries combat cybercrime more successfully and protect their citizens from fraud and new forms of misuse, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Assistant Attorney General Polite and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Swartz expressed their full support to Croatia in the fight against cybercrime and their readiness to exchange experience between the USA and Croatia, supported by ICITAP and OPDAT programmes.

Cooperation in combating corruption and cybercrime

Minister Malenica also met with U.S. Special Envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar. They highlighted the quality of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Croatia since the establishment of diplomatic relations 30 years ago and the continued strengthening of partnership between the two countries. Furthermore, support for EU enlargement to the countries of Southeast Europe and the importance of sharing Croatian experience of negotiating chapters 23 and 24 were discussed. Mr Escobar reiterated full US support to strengthening co-operation with Croatia in combating corruption and organised crime.

In a meeting with U.S. Department of State's global policies and programmes director Maggie Nardi, US support to programmes for judicial officials on cybercrime and anti-corruption.

During the official visit, the Minister also met with Deputy Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Stacy Bernard-Davis. They discussed open issues related to the restitution of property to the Jewish community and the preparation of Croatia for the presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – IHRA.

Minister Malenica had meetings with Louisa Becker from the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team and Anthony Teelucksingh from the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. They exchanged experiences in combating new forms of cybercrime and setting up special teams to combat the misuse of cryptocurrencies and new threats in this area.

The official visit, organised in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Croatia, is taking place within the framework of activities of the International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Office for Central and Eastern Europe.