International Crimes And Extradition: Processes And Procedures


It is misconstrued by most people that committing crime in other country and seeking refuge in another country prevents an offender or accused form being prosecuted.

Due to international treaties, conventions, Charters and Memorandum of Understandings, criminals are able to be traced, arrested and transported from a particular country to the other for trial and prosecution. This process is called the extradition process.

Extradition for international crimes is a formal process. This procedure transfers the person accused or guilty of a crime being transferred or surrendered to another country for trial, penalties or punishments.

These actions are regulated and completed through treaty. They are conducted between the United States Federal Government and foreign nation governments.

While this is similar to interstate rendition where the person is remanded to another state for trial, the international courts or the specific country of the person’s origin is used to ensure the trial is performed.

Usual situations involve a treaty for extradition, but some transfers of criminal elements are completed without any treaty in effect. When there is no peace agreement in existence, there is generally some form of reciprocity such as release of prisoners of war or similar circumstances.

In reverse, the United States do have provisions to extradite certain persons who have violated laws or have committed violence against United States citizens in other countries.

It is important to know the difference so that these treaties may remain in effect without any complications arising. This could keep conflict at bay and protect citizens of the country while in other nations.

It is the Office of International Affairs that is contacted by both federal and state prosecuting lawyers about this process when there is a need to extradite someone that is in another country.

Additionally, this same office is communicated with when a foreign national is being held by the United States Government and there is a request to extradite him or her to his or her country of origin.

This Office of International Affairs must review the case and approve the extradition protocol. When an unauthorised request occurs, this could lead to both financial liability to the requestor as well as other sanctions.

This is due to complications that arise when treaties are interfered with by these persons. Each extradition process is a separate procedure without any other connection. There are often different provisions based on the specific situation, and negotiations are completed discretely.

When lawyers contact the Office of International Affairs (OIA), the agency will advise about possible extradition and what steps should be followed based on the circumstances.

If there is no possibility of extradition, there may be other steps necessary that must be satisfied to return him or her to his or her nation.

To process the person for trial, the courts may need to contact the government to initiate the extradition process once the foreign national has been located.

Each act of extradition is started with a formal request with the country that has a treaty with the United States. These processes are supported through documentation. Provisional arrests are often permitted based on the amount of time these formal requests take to initiate.

When a provisional arrest is accomplished, the accused is arrested and detained when located. Then, the country of origin must submit the request.

Depending on the treaty, there is a certain amount of time that may take from 30 days to three months in usual circumstances. If the proper documents have not been supplied within the time limit, the person is then released.

This may cause difficulties, strains or complications with the treaty nation. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) becomes involved in these matters in determining if the facts surrounding the situation satisfy the requirement of immediacy with the terms of the treaty nation.

When these are met, the Office of International Affairs (OIA) requests the provisional arrest with the appropriate enforcement.

However, the prosecutor is responsible for a formal request with the correct documents if the provisional arrest factors are not met. These types of arrests may be necessary if there is the possibility of a flight risk with the accused. This could lead to faster results.

For these processes, it may be beneficial to hire an international lawyer. This legal representative may assist with the extradition process. He or she often has additional knowledge about how to handle the transfer of the criminal from the United States to his or her country of origin.


Source: Saint-Ayisi Samuel

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