16 – 20 June Ms Busola Johnson, lawyer at the UK Central Authority within the Home Office, visited Bishkek to participate in a training seminar organised by the World Bank and UNODC under the StAR [Stolen Asset Recovery] Initiative. Ms Johnson also had bilateral discussion with the General Prosecutor’s office and met international experts working to support justice sector reform in Kyrgyzstan.
My aims in coming to Kyrgyzstan were two-fold. Firstly to gain a deeper understanding of the Kyrgyz perspective and second, to offer Kyrgyz legal colleagues a clear account of the UK Mutual Legal Assistance regime, and the legal framework in which we work. I am confident that I have made good progress towards achieving both objectives. On a personal note, I have been struck the by warmth of the welcome extended to me both by my legal colleagues and members of the public and I leave this beautiful country with very fond memories.
The visit formed part of the Criminal Justice Dialogue initiated by the British Embassy in Bishkek in 2013 to promote contacts between UK and Kyrgyz criminal justice practitioners. During Ms Johnson’s visit, she and HM Ambassador Judith Farnworth discussed with Kyrgyz partners ideas for further bilateral engagement later this year.