NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 29th August 2023, 06:42 pm
The intricacies of extradition, a delicate legal dance between nations, can be a labyrinthine and time-consuming endeavor. It is a process in which one country requests the transfer of a suspected or convicted criminal from another country for prosecution or punishment. Often utilized when a criminal flees to evade prosecution or punishment for a crime, the requesting country must provide irrefutable evidence of the individual’s guilt in order for the extradition to be granted.
The extradition process is regulated by bilateral treaties between countries, outlining the terms and conditions of the requesting country’s request and the rights of both the extraditing and extradited parties. The process begins with a formal request from the requesting country, complete with evidence of the individual’s guilt, to the other country. The other country then assesses the evidence and, if deemed sufficient, issues a warrant for the individual’s arrest.
The accused or convicted person is then brought before a court in the other country to determine if the evidence presented justifies extradition. If the court finds in favor of extradition, an extradition order is issued, authorizing the transfer of the individual to the requesting country. Once in the custody of the requesting country, the individual is brought before a court to determine if the evidence presented justifies extradition, and if so, the individual will face trial or sentencing according to the laws of the requesting country.
However, for an extradition request to be successful, an extradition treaty must be in place between the two countries. These bilateral agreements outline the offenses eligible for extradition and the procedures for making and responding to extradition requests. It is crucial to consider the potential impact on human rights during the extradition process, as well as compliance with international laws. The extradition process, while vital in bringing criminals to justice, can also be a lengthy and complex undertaking that requires the cooperation and coordination of nations.
Extradition Defense Lawyers Can Help
The complexity of extradition, a legal process in which a foreign government requests the transfer of a person from another country to stand trial or serve a sentence for a crime committed in the requesting country, cannot be overstated. The process can take months, even years, to be completed and is heavily dependent on the cooperation and agreement of both countries involved. It is a process that has been used for centuries, but with the ever-evolving world and global interconnectedness, extradition has become a more pressing issue.
The process of extradition starts when the government of the requesting country makes a formal request to the government of the other country for the extradition of the accused or convicted person. The request must include evidence that the person committed the crime, as well as any other information that may be necessary for the other country to make a decision on the extradition request. Once the request is received, the government of the other country must then determine whether the evidence presented is sufficient to justify the extradition.
If the evidence is deemed sufficient, the government of the other country will issue a warrant of extradition, which authorizes the arrest of the accused or convicted person. The accused or convicted person is then brought before a court in the other country, which will determine whether the evidence presented is sufficient to justify the extradition. If the court determines that the evidence is sufficient, an extradition order is issued, authorizing the extradition of the accused or convicted person to the requesting country.
The accused or convicted person is then transferred to the custody of the requesting country and brought back to their home country, usually through the use of a special extradition flight. Once the accused or convicted person is in the custody of the requesting country, they will be brought before a court in that country. The court will then determine whether the evidence presented is sufficient to justify the extradition, and if so, the accused or convicted person will be put on trial or sentenced according to the laws of the requesting country.
It is important to note that in order for an extradition request to be successful, the two countries must have an extradition treaty in place. An extradition treaty is a bilateral agreement between two countries that sets out the terms and conditions under which the government of the requesting country can request the extradition of a person from the other country. The treaty must also include the list of offenses that are eligible for extradition, the procedures for making and responding to extradition requests, and the rights of the extraditing and extradited parties.
The extradition process is not without its drawbacks. The accused or convicted person may face a lack of due process in the requesting country, as well as the risk of being subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment. Additionally, the process can be lengthy and costly, both for the requesting and the requested country.
However, extradition is also crucial in ensuring that criminals do not evade justice by fleeing to another country. It serves as a tool for international cooperation and helps to uphold the rule of law. It is a delicate balance between protecting human rights and holding those who have committed crimes accountable for their actions.
In conclusion, extradition is a complex legal process that requires the cooperation and agreement of both countries involved. It is regulated by bilateral treaties, and the process begins with a formal request by the government of the requesting country. The process can be lengthy and costly, and there are human rights considerations that must be taken into account. However, it is an important tool for international cooperation and upholding the rule of law.
Defenses to Interstate Extradition
The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act is a powerful and often intimidating force that regulates the extradition process between states. It is a daunting task to fight against this process, as it is built upon the assumption that the individual being extradited is a fugitive, running from criminal charges. However, there are several effective defenses available to those who find themselves in this situation, including improper identification and habeas corpus violations.
One of the earliest opportunities to challenge extradition is during the identification hearing. This is the first formal proceeding that takes place after an individual is arrested in New York and facing extradition to another state. This hearing serves to protect the individual’s rights under New York law by ensuring that they are, in fact, the person that the other state is seeking. If the other state cannot prove this, New York will not allow for the extradition to take place. Our experienced extradition defense attorneys can help at an identification hearing by negotiating with the demanding state to resolve the charges while the individual is still in New York, thereby avoiding the expense, hassle, and embarrassment of being sent to the other state.
Another powerful defense is habeas corpus violations. After the identification hearing but before delivery to the agent of the demanding state, our skilled extradition criminal lawyers can request a hearing in New York based on habeas corpus to test the legality of the individual’s arrest and confinement. Furthermore, during this hearing, we will move to have the individual released on bail so that they can avoid unnecessary confinement. When challenging extradition on a petition for habeas corpus, we will inquire into (1) whether the extradition documents on their face are in order, (2) whether the individual has been charged with a crime in the demanding state, (3) whether they are the person named in the request for extradition, and (4) whether they are actually a fugitive.
Our attorneys will use this time during the proceeding to further negotiate with the prosecutor of the demanding state and raise defenses opposing extradition to or from New York. For instance, if we can prove that the individual was not in the demanding state at the time of the alleged crime, this will defeat the jurisdiction of the asylum state (where the individual is now residing) to extradite them back to the demanding state to face charges. In other words, this will prove that they are not a “fugitive from justice” within the United States constitutional provision for extradition. Another way of preventing extradition is by challenging the arrest based on probable cause. If the demanding state cannot show sufficient facts to support a finding of probable cause to believe the individual committed the crime charged, then the extradition proceedings will cease. With the right legal representation, it is possible to defend against extradition and protect your rights.
Defenses to International Extradition | Extradition Defense Lawyers
As international borders blur and criminal activity becomes increasingly transnational, the need for effective extradition procedures becomes paramount. The process of extraditing an individual to or from the United States is governed by both federal law and international treaty. When there is a treaty or convention for extradition between the United States and a foreign country, the alleged fugitive will be brought before a judge to determine if they should be certified for extradition.
However, a fugitive opposing extradition is not without recourse. They are limited to introducing only explanatory evidence, and under the United States extradition process and procedure, set forth in 18 U.S.C. Sections 3181 – 3195, the magistrate judge’s scope of review is limited to only determining whether (1) the magistrate had jurisdiction, (2) whether the offense charged is extraditable within the treaty and (3) whether there is probable cause that the detainee committed the alleged offense. If the government establishes these factors at the extradition hearing, the court may certify a detainee’s extraditability. Generally, these orders are not directly appealable, but we may seek collateral review in the court of appeals through habeas corpus or a declaratory challenging the district court’s interpretation of the principles of dual criminality and specialty.
In certain cases, recantation testimony may be introduced to defeat extradition. This is when the only probable cause is via an affidavit, and the related witness later retracts their statement. The specialty doctrine generally provides that an extradited defendant may not be prosecuted for an offense different from or other than an offense for which the defendant has been extradited, and grants an accused who has been extradited from a foreign country corresponding immunity from civil proceedings in the United States.
One of the prime considerations in determining whether a person is subject to extradition under a treaty between the United States and a foreign nation has traditionally been whether the offense the person is charged with involves “dual criminality.” The dual criminality requirement has been held to require two findings by an extradition court: (1) that the acts alleged to have been taken by the accused, if proven, would be crimes under United States law; and (2) that the crime charged by the requesting nation be substantially analogous to a United States crime.
Lastly, if there is a possibility that, upon being extradited, a suspect may face punishments considered as “torture,” we may freeze the extradition proceedings. Under the Administrative Procedures Act, we may seek relief in a federal court of appeals to challenge the certification of extraditability.
In conclusion, the process of extradition is a delicate one, balancing the need for international cooperation in the pursuit of justice with the rights and liberties of the individual. The United States extradition process and procedures provide a fair and just system for determining extradition requests, while protecting the rights of the accused.
As the international criminal justice system continues to evolve and expand, the intricacies of extradition treaties have become increasingly important. Extradition is the process by which one country surrenders a person to another country for the purpose of prosecution or punishment for a crime that they are accused or convicted of.
At the core of every extradition treaty are provisions defining the types of crimes that are considered extraditable. Historically, treaties have included a negotiated list of specific offenses, such as murder, manslaughter, or larceny, for which extradition would be allowed. However, in recent decades, a more flexible approach known as “dual criminality” has become the norm. This approach allows for extradition to be granted for crimes that would be considered illegal in both the requesting and requested state.
Despite the broad scope of most extradition treaties, there are several exceptions that can be invoked to deny a request for extradition. The most common exceptions include political offenses, such as treason and espionage, which are seen as a potential means for one state to interfere in the domestic politics of another. Additionally, many countries will refuse to extradite their own nationals, although the United States government has taken the position that nationality should not be a barrier to extradition.
Another exception is the principle of “non bis in idem”, which prohibits extradition in cases where the person has already been convicted or acquitted in the requested state for the same crime for which extradition is being requested. This principle is similar to the US doctrine of “double jeopardy.”
In some cases, the requested state may also demand assurances that the death penalty will not be sought or imposed for the crime in question. This is known as the “capital offenses” exception, and it is often included in extradition treaties as a means of balancing the competing interests of justice and human rights.
Finally, the “rule of specialty” is a doctrine that limits the scope of prosecution and punishment for a person who has been extradited. Under this doctrine, the requesting state may only prosecute or punish the person for the crime or crimes for which extradition was granted, subject to certain exceptions.
Overall, extradition treaties are a delicate balancing act between the competing interests of justice, human rights, and national sovereignty. As such, they require a thorough understanding of international law and the nuances of the relationship between the requesting and requested state.
Extradition Defense FAQ
What is international extradition?
Extradition is a cooperative effort between nations to deliver suspected or convicted criminals to face justice. The process, defined by extradition laws, can take place within a country’s borders or across the globe, as in the case of international extradition.
International extradition is a complex and often contentious process, with a number of factors that must be considered before it can proceed. The key questions that must be answered are: is there probable cause to believe that the fugitive committed a crime? Is the crime in question one that is subject to extradition? Can the identity of the fugitive be confirmed? And, do any exceptions apply, such as the Convention Against Torture?
An extradition treaty is a formal agreement between two countries to extradite individuals charged or convicted of extraditable offenses. The United States has extradition treaties with more than 100 countries, including the European Union. Extraditable offenses are crimes that carry a sentence of at least one year in both countries, and can include financial crimes such as tax evasion, custom duty evasion, and currency exchange offenses.
But not all countries are willing to cooperate in the extradition process. Some countries, such as France, refuse to extradite their own citizens, as in the case of Roman Polanski. Additionally, many courts refuse to extradite individuals who may face torture or the death penalty in the requesting nation, as ruled by the European Court of Human Rights.
Famous examples of extradition controversies include serial killer Charles Ng, who fled to Canada after committing heinous crimes in California. Ng contested his extradition on the grounds that Canadian law had abolished the death penalty, but ultimately, Canada extradited him to the U.S. However, in 2001 the Canadian Supreme Court overturned that ruling and Canada no longer extradites fugitives to the U.S. or anywhere else if they might face the death penalty.
General Overview of Extradition Treaties
Extradition treaties are not just mere agreements, but they hold the power to arrest and surrender individuals to foreign treaty partners on request. These treaties are crafted with precision and consideration, taking into account the unique legal systems and priorities of the nations involved. They set forth binding obligations for both the requesting state and the requested state.
The United States, a nation known for its commitment to justice and the rule of law, has established extradition treaties with over 100 countries. However, these proceedings are not just governed by treaty obligations, but also by the stringent requirements of U.S. statutory law, as outlined in 18 U.S.C. § 3181 et seq. Generally speaking, the United States will only extradite an individual to another country under the authority of a bilateral treaty with that country. But, it will not turn a blind eye to fugitives seeking refuge within its borders, whether through bilateral treaties, multilateral conventions or other means of return, the United States will ensure that justice is served.
How does the extradition process work??
For centuries, states have turned to extradition treaties as a means of bringing criminals who have fled their country to justice. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, the importance of extradition has grown exponentially as transnational criminal organizations, from drug traffickers and terrorists to cybercriminals and counterfeiters, continue to operate across borders.
The United States, for example, has extradition treaties in place with over one hundred countries. Yet, despite these agreements, the process of extradition is often mired in controversy and can become a source of geopolitical tension. Take, for instance, the high-profile case of former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn, who fled to Lebanon from Japan to avoid prosecution for financial misconduct.
But what exactly is extradition? Simply put, it is the legal process by which one state surrenders an individual to another state for the purpose of prosecution or punishment for crimes committed within the requesting country’s jurisdiction. This is typically done through bilateral or multilateral treaties. However, extradition can also occur in the absence of a treaty, though such cases are quite rare.
When it comes to the content of these treaties, there are a few key elements to consider. Most modern treaties take a “dual criminality” approach, meaning that any crime that is punishable in both jurisdictions is considered extraditable. Older treaties, on the other hand, tend to list specific offenses, such as murder, rape, and burglary. Additionally, many treaties only allow for extradition in cases where the crime carries a punishment of more than one year.
Of course, there are also instances when extradition can be denied. These include, but are not limited to, cases involving military or political offenses (with some exceptions for acts of terrorism and other violent crimes), as well as situations where the requested country has abolished capital punishment or life imprisonment. Additionally, some states will not extradite their own citizens or will only do so under certain conditions.
Other important factors to consider include issues of double jeopardy, statutes of limitations, administrative expenses, legal representation, and the transfer of evidence. As a complex and often contentious legal process, extradition requires the expertise of skilled attorneys who understand the nuances of international law and can navigate the various provisions of extradition treaties.
The extradition process in the United States is a complex and intricate process that involves cooperation between various government agencies, both domestic and foreign. It begins with a foreign government submitting a request to the U.S. State Department, complete with the necessary paperwork and evidence supporting the case. If there is a concern of flight risk, a provisional arrest and detention may be requested.
The secretary of state then reviews the request and, if deemed appropriate, passes it on to the Justice Department for further review. The Justice Department examines the case for treaty compliance, obtains an arrest warrant, and proceeds with the arrest of the fugitive. This individual then goes before a federal judge or magistrate to determine if there is probable cause to believe they committed the offense covered by the applicable treaty.
The individual’s rights during this hearing are more limited than in regular trials, they cannot appeal the court’s ruling, but they may contest the court’s jurisdiction. If probable cause is found, the case is passed back to the secretary of state who has the final say on the matter. This certification procedure is not a fact-finding endeavor or an independent evaluation of the evidence, as would be done in a trial; rather, it determines whether the facts alleged constitute a crime in the prosecuting country.
The process for extraditions to the United States is similar. A state or federal prosecutor meets with the relevant law enforcement agency to decide whether an extradition is worth the significant costs. Prosecutors then prepare an application to the Justice Department, which reviews it for sufficiency. If approved, the Justice Department forwards it to the State Department, who then sends the request to the relevant U.S. embassy. The process varies by country, but suspects are able to contest or appeal extradition in many countries. Upon the approval of the country of refuge, the U.S. Marshals Service will most often escort the fugitive to the United States.
The United States also collaborates with Interpol, the international police organization, which has nearly two hundred member countries. Any of these countries can, with a valid arrest warrant or court order, request a red notice for a wanted individual. This serves as an alert to police and border agents worldwide and member countries may, at their discretion, arrest the subject of the notice and initiate legal proceedings over extradition.
The timing of the process varies widely from case to case, but the average extradition involving the United States takes more than a year from request to surrender. Some have taken more than a dozen years, while many cases are closed without a fugitive’s capture. The United States has extradition treaties with more than one hundred countries, some dating back more than a century, but it does not have treaties with dozens of others, including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, as well as many African, Middle Eastern, and formerly Soviet countries. However, the United States does collaborate with some of these countries on law enforcement matters, including on transfers of persons in custody, on a case-by-case basis.
What is the international extradition process?
In summary, the extradition process in the United States requires action from both the judicial and executive branches of government. A request for extradition is received by the Department of Justice from a foreign government. A complaint is then sent to a magistrate judge in the jurisdiction where the person is thought to reside, who issues a warrant for the suspect’s arrest. The judge will then determine whether the extradition request complies with U.S. treaty obligations and laws, and if the evidence provided by the foreign nation is sufficient to sustain the charges. The Secretary of State then reviews the magistrate’s findings and has the final decision on whether to extradite. When the United States wants to request the extradition of a fugitive, a prosecutor contacts the Office of International Affairs within the Department of Justice and submits the request and documents to the Secretary of State. The foreign nation’s legal protections and extradition procedures will then be followed.
What are the rules when it comes to international extradition without a treaty
The treacherous world of international extradition is one where even the most powerful nations must tread carefully. Though the United States may not have a treaty with certain countries, the relentless pursuit of justice knows no bounds. The pursuit of a fugitive is not always a straightforward process, as the U.S. must navigate the treacherous waters of diplomatic negotiations and political maneuvering.
Take the high-profile case of Edward Snowden, a former computer intelligence consultant with the National Security Agency who exposed the existence of several global surveillance programs. He now faces criminal charges for theft and espionage in the United States, but fled to Russia, a country with no extradition treaty with the U.S. Despite the lack of treaty, Russia could choose to extradite Snowden at any time, yet they have chosen to shield him from prosecution.
This case exemplifies the political and diplomatic nature of international extradition. There is no global enforcement mechanism that forces a country to extradite, and it is often a game of power and influence. In rare cases, the U.S. has resorted to extraordinary rendition, the forcible removal of a person, usually a suspected terrorist, to another country with fewer human rights protections. The world of international extradition is a complex and ever-evolving landscape, where the pursuit of justice is often hindered by political and diplomatic obstacles.
What are the alternatives to extradition
When a fugitive is on the run, there are several alternatives to the formal extradition process that they can choose from. One such option is to waive their rights and voluntarily agree to be transferred to foreign authorities – a decision that, while potentially less contentious, is still a significant one to make.
Another alternative is deportation, which is when a non-national is sent back to their home country without going through any formal administrative processes. For instance, in cooperation with U.S. border agents, Mexican authorities have informally deported many individuals, often suspected in narcotics crimes, to the United States, without any court proceedings.
For those who prefer a more secretive and covert approach, there’s the option of extraordinary rendition. With this method, a fugitive is typically taken from a country of refuge and denied access to its judicial process. The U.S. authorities, for instance, have used this practice to bring suspected terrorists and other criminals to the United States or to third countries for detention, interrogation, or prosecution. While some countries may consent to the rendition, others may not. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant can stand trial even if they were forcibly abducted and brought to the United States. But this practice has been heavily criticized by human rights groups, who claim that renditions are illegal, particularly those intended to subject detainees to harsh interrogation techniques in foreign countries.
Lastly, a foreign government can choose to prosecute the individual, which often occurs when the individual is a national of that country and therefore not extraditable. For instance, after a high-profile extradition battle, Samuel Sheinbein was tried and convicted in Israel for committing murder in Maryland in 1997. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that Sheinbein, who claimed Israeli citizenship, could not be extradited, despite the wishes of both the Israeli and U.S. governments. Israel subsequently passed a law allowing extradition of its nationals.
In conclusion, when a fugitive is on the run, they have several options to choose from, each with its own set of pros and cons. It’s a difficult decision that requires a deep understanding of the legal system and the potential risks and benefits of each option.
International Extradition Attorney Extradition Court Proceedings: Understanding the Complexities
Extradition court proceedings are quite complex. This is because it comprises of both international laws, together with federal bilateral and multilateral treaties.
Federal criminal prosecutors are always after individuals who are in the country illegally or sought for extradition for other reasons.
Working with Experienced International Extradition Lawyers
Dealing with extradition cases is not a walk in the park. It requires someone with a deep understanding of extradition laws and with the ability to convince judges and prosecutors that the extradition order is not permissible under the current circumstance.
Spodek Law Group is a renowned law firm with a countrywide presence. Our lawyers have worked with some of the most complex extradition cases in the country. We understand how it feels when sometimes you are about to be separated from your family because of extradition.
If you or your loved one is facing extradition from the United States of another country, one of the important things to do is to hire a qualified and experienced attorney to handle your case.
Under What Circumstance Can a Person be Extradited from or to the United States?
The basis of extradition to or from the U.S. is usually determined by the terms or conditions of a particular treaty from which the extradition is being applied.
The criminal allegations leveled against the person sought for extradition will determine if the subject will be extradited or not.
The other thing that will probably determine whether the extradition order will be granted is the type of defense presented both by the prosecution side and that of the defendant.
Although some bilateral U.S. extradition treaties comprise of a list of extraditable offenses, recent treaties utilize what is known as dual criminality.
The treaty states that a fugitive person may be liable for extradition if he or she has committed an act that can attract criminal charges in both countries.
The United States Department of Justice has a list of all the countries that have signed extradition treaties with the U.S. In case you are in a country that has an extradition treaty with the United States and you have a pending extradition case, our lawyers can help you out.
We will carry out a proper assessment of the extradition case and determine your chances of not being extradited under various extradition laws.
In some cases, the United State government can extradite individuals to countries that don’t have any extradition treaties with it. But this is restricted to the extradition of individuals who aren’t citizens of the U.S.
Extradition Defense Strategies
For criminal allegations concerning the country’s requesting extradition for an individual or individuals, there are several potential defenses specific to that particular extradition process.
As soon as you contact our office, our lawyers will get down to work to find out which defense options are available to you.
The information we get will be crucial in helping our team to develop a strong and effective defense strategy. After that, we will start engaging the law enforcement agencies involved in your extradition case.
Although each extradition case is unique, there are some common defense strategies in both the United States and international extradition cases. They include the following:
1. Treaty Exceptions
All extradition treaties have exceptions depending on the country the fugitive belongs to. Some of these exceptions can be used as a leeway to protect an individual from being extradited.
Below are some of the common exceptions in U.S. extradition treaties:
- Double jeopardy: U.S extradition does not allow extradition if it is established that extraditing an individual will lead to double jeopardy for a crime that the person has already been prosecuted for.
- Foreign crimes: U.S. treaties also prohibit extradition where the crime was committed outside the requesting country.
- Military crimes
- Politically-motivated crimes
2. Statute of Limitations
According to the U.S. Extradition treaties, a person cannot be extradited if the statutes of limitations from the requesting country has expired.
3. Lack of Probable Cause
Before an extradition order is granted, The U.S court must establish the “probable cause” in the constitution.
4. Doctrine of Specialty
Under this doctrine, an extradited person can only be charged for the crimes leveled against him or her if that is the same crime that triggered the extradition process.