USA to support building of Estonian forensic center

TALLINN, Dec 21, BNS – The United States embassy today confirmed its support to the erection of a new forensic center in Estonia, the Justice Ministry reported.

Justice Minister Rein Lang said US representatives at their meeting today promised their all-round support to the the building of the center. Besides Lang, also Martin Hirvoja, the ministry’s secretary-general for criminal policy, charge d’affairs at interim at the US embassy Jeff Goldstein and deputy attache for legal affairs Ralph Hope attended the meeting.

“An invitation was extended to our experts to visit the respective FBI central laboratory in Quantico,” the minister said.

Lang informed representatives of the embassy of the plan to merge as of January 1, 2009 Estonia’s two forensic analysis offices and setting up the most up-to-date forensic center in the region.

“The government has decided the erection of a building for the new center at Rahumae, and it should be completed in 2009,” Lang said.

The meeting also focused on the use of the DNA database software the United States has given for use by Estonia. The minister informed representatives of the embassy of Estonia’s intention to accede to the Schengen III agreement that regulates exchange of DNA information between the contractual parties.

The US found that in-depth cooperation between European countries was necessary and welcome.

In Lang’s opinion the cooperation between the US and Estonian governments in the legal protection sphere had been very good and there was good cooperation also between law enforcment bodies.

The minister underlined the need for cooperation in the sphere of personal data protection.

“The United States and Europe must be united in the fight against terrorism and international crime. Differences in details have to be settled by means of constructive talks,” he said.