Extradition is a legal procedure by which a person is transferred from one country to another to face trial or penalties for an offense committed in the requesting country. It is a complex and controversial issue that raises questions about the balance between state sovereignty and the protection of human rights.
When It Does Apply
Extradition applies when a person commits an offense in one country that is also considered a crime in another country, and the requesting country has a legal agreement (treaty) with the country where the suspect is located. The offense must also be extraditable, which means that it must be a serious crime with a minimum penalty of a year's imprisonment.
Legal Requirements for Extradition
The legal requirements for extradition vary depending on the country, but they usually involve the following:
- A formal request from the requesting country to the requested country, which outlines the charge, the evidence, and the relevant law.
- A certification from the authorized government official that the request meets the requirements of the extradition treaty.
- A hearing before the requested country's court to determine if the extradition request is valid.
- If the court approves, the requested country's government can order the extradition, subject to legal or political restrictions.
When It Doesn't Apply
Extradition doesn't apply if:
The offense is not considered a crime in the requested country.
The requesting country doesn't have a legal agreement (treaty) with the country where the suspect is located.
The requesting country doesn't provide sufficient evidence to support the extradition request.
The suspect, if extradited, would face the death penalty or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
Examples of High-Profile Extradition Cases
One of the most famous extradition cases is that of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who was arrested in London in April 2019 at the request of the United States. He is charged with multiple counts of espionage and computer misuse relating to the publication of classified documents. His legal team argued that extradition to the US would violate his human rights, but in January 2021, a UK court ruled that he could be extradited.
Another notable case is that of Roman Polanski, the film director, who fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl. He has lived in France since then, but the US has been seeking his extradition ever since. In 2010, Switzerland briefly detained Polanski at the request of the US, but he was released after the Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him.
At Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., we have extensive experience in handling extradition cases. Our team of skilled attorneys can provide you with the legal representation you need to fight extradition and protect your rights.
If you're facing extradition or have questions about the extradition process, don't hesitate to contact us today at (305) 985-6640. We're here to help.