EXTRADITION DEFENSE

 

Interstate Extradition vs. International Extradition

▪   State governments in the United States use interstate extradition as the legal procedure to demand the surrender of a person alleged to have committed a crime in another state. Extradition is reciprocal and governed by each state’s law.

▪   Countries use international extradition as the legal procedure to demand the surrender of a person alleged to have committed a crime in another country. George Lobb can assist you in fighting both types of extradition.

 

INTERSTATE EXTRADITION

▪   State to state extradition begins with the issuance of an arrest warrant by the requesting state. This warrant is then placed into a nationwide database called NCIC (National Crime Information Center). The NCIC is checked every time you get stopped by the police, enter the United States from a foreign country (by land, sea, or air), apply for or renew a driver’s license, or apply for or renew a passport. Once the warrant is executed, a hold is placed on you by the requesting state. You usually sit in jail unless you hire an attorney to arrange for a bond. If you do not act quickly, a governor’s warrant will issue and you will NOT get out of jail. Please contact George C. Lobb for details on how to challenge interstate extradition.

 

INTERNATIONAL EXTRADITION

▪   Each country’s extradition treaty governs international extradition. You can be extradited if an extradition treaty exists between the United States and the foreign power, or whenever a country is an Interpol member. Whenever you enter (or sometimes when you exit) a country, the passport control agent or immigration authority will check your name against an Interpol database. You will be detained if you have a Red Notice issued with your name on it. Whether or not you are extradited is a question of treaties and international law. You can find a list of treaties between the United States and other countries at the State Department’s Criminal Division of the Office of International Affair.

▪   Countries without reciprocal treaties on extradition may still seek extradition for crimes of violence committed against citizens of that country. To understand the non-treaty extradition concept, consider this unlikely scenario for clarification. If someone allegedly commits homicide in North Korea against a citizen of the United States, the United States can seek extradition of that suspect from North Korea even though North Korea and the United States lack a reciprocal extradition treaty. In reality, this would not happen because of strained relations between the two, but the legal framework exists in the United States to allow for the United States to seek extradition in that case, even without a treaty or Interpol membership of both countries. Please contact George C. Lobb for details on how to challenge international extradition.

 

Steps in the International Extradition Process

1. TREATY WITH THE UNITED STATES

Both countries must share a treaty permitting extradition between the two countries before a government can extradite someone from one country to another. Many countries share extradition treaties with the United States. Each treaty differs with respect to which offense are extraditable. Extradition treaties signed by the United States require that the offense be a crime in the United States and the country requesting extradition.

2. REQUEST BY THE UNITED STATES

The United States Department of State (DOS) and the United States Justice Department handle extraditions. Usually, the police or prosecutor’s office makes a request that a person be extradited. This request goes to the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs. The OIA passes the request to the DOS Legal Advisor. The Legal Advisor passes the request to the United States Embassy in the country where the wanted person is located. The embassy then submits the request to the foreign government. If the foreign government honors the extradition request, the foreign government is responsible for arresting the wanted person and turning him or her over to the local Embassy of the United States.

3. ARREST AND TRANSPORT TO THE UNITED STATES

Once the detained person is handed over to the U.S. Embassy, the United States Marshals transport the detainee to the United States.  Attorney George Lobb fights this extradition process so that the detainee is allowed to stay in the foreign country, or if you choose not to fight, George Lobb assists in speeding up the process so that you do not linger in government custody for extended periods. It is important to talk with George Lobb so that your story can be heard and your rights can be defended.

4. AIRPORTS

Although the law entitles you to fight extradition, special rules apply in airports. Some countries treat airports as extrajudicial (beyond justice) and have, in the past, taken a suspect off of one plane and loaded him or her onto another plane bound for the requesting country. All of this occured without a trial, without a hearing, and without commonly-accepted extradition procedures.

 

Foreign Country Requests to The United States Government

    When a foreign government seeks to have a person extradited FROM the United States TO the foreign country, the foreign government contacts their embassy in Washington, D.C. to make the extradition REQUEST to the United States Department of State (DOS). DOS will then forward the request to the U.S. Justice Department, who then sends the request to the U.S. Attorney for the district in which the person is located. The U.S. Attorney initiates extradition proceedings in the appropriate federal court. The federal court reviews the evidence against the suspect, and if the evidence is sufficient and based on probable cause, a WARRANT is issued for the person’s arrest in the United States. The court also submits a recommendation and findings of fact to DOS to determine whether or not the wanted person is to be extradited to the United States. Note: many “purely political” offenses are NOT extraditable. Purely political offenses do not include assassination of a political figure or other serious crimes of violence.

 

Extradition Without a Treaty: Kidnapping by the Government

    Whether there is an extradition treaty in place or not, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that it is legally proper for a United States federal agent to KIDNAP an individual from a foreign country, even if in contravention of that country’s local law. The kidnapping is not the basis for dismissal of the U.S. charges. Tricking, lying, and deceiving by federal police is also allowed. Your constitutional rights are limited, and in practice non-existent, outside of the United States. Even inside the United States, the Bill of Rights should be called the Bill of Possibilities.

Over the last 200 years, the United States Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, federal district courts, and Congress put in many hours of hard work to limit or completely extinguish your constitutional rights. To cite an example, the U.S. government takes the position that it can execute a U.S. citizen without a trial when that person is in a foreign country and does not pose an immediate threat to the United States https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BStlX1pUA_Q. Nothing prevents the United States from running an internment camp again (see U.S. v. Korematsu). Nothing prevents the United States government from detaining someone indefinitely, in an undisclosed location, without meaningful access to a lawyer, without the right to examine evidence against you. Why do I cite these examples? To bring home the reality that the government will rarely respect your rights unless you have someone on your side fighting to defend your rights.

 

How Do I Fight an Extradition Case?

Fighting Extradition: Defenses

“Defenses” are tools used to fight extradition of a suspect to the United States or to fight extradition from the United States to another country. These defenses include, but are not limited to: 1) citizenship of the country of retreat, 2) non-extraditable crime, and 3) expiration of the statute of limitations and the crime cannot be charged against you. Other factors affect extradition, e.g. serious medical conditions (Augusto Pinochet). When considering all options, an extradition waiver should be weighed along with defenses. Again, each case is different and your options will become clearer once you consult with me about your case.

 

Common Problems Faced by Governments Wanting Extradition

There are important limits on extradition, including:

▪   Not all nations will extradite their citizens to another country, e.g. Israel and France.

▪   Some countries refuse to extradite to the United States if there is a chance the death penalty will be imposed, e.g. Mexico.

▪   Most countries will not extradite if the offense is considered a political crime or for other reasons stipulated in the extradition treaty, such as military offenses like desertion

▪   Many treaties contain provisions that prevent extradition if the person has already been tried and either convicted or acquitted of the crime

▪   Countries may also refuse to extradite on humanitarian or foreign policy grounds

▪   The fugitive is a national of the country of retreat

▪   The crime is not extraditable

▪   The statute of limitations expired and the offense cannot be charged

▪   Serious medical conditions

▪   Additionally, most extradition treaties contain a provision known as the “rule of specialty.” This rule provides that a person who has been extradited may be prosecuted only for the offense listed in the extradition request. The rule is to ensure that a person is not extradited on a pretext, only to be prosecuted for an offense for which extradition may not be allowed. The rule of specialty may be waived by the nation from which a person is extradited.

 

INTERPOL (International Police Organization)

Red Notices (warrants)
vs.
Blue  Notices (surveillance)

Red Notices:  Can be searched via the Interpol webpage

http://www.interpol.int/Wanted-Persons

Blue Notices: Cannot be searched on the Interpol webpage. It is not possible to determine whether or not Interpol is conducting surveillance on you.

 

Note: Some Red Notices do NOT appear on the Interpol webpage. The system used by the police to check for Interpol Red Notices is separate from the public version available online. It is best to contact George Lobb to determine whether or not a Red Notice or Interpol warrant exists.

The 190 Countries in Interpol

a
Afghanistan | Albania | Algeria | Andorra | Angola | Antigua & Barbuda | Argentina | Armenia | Aruba | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan

b
Bahamas | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Benin | Bhutan | Bolivia | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Botswana | Brazil | Brunei | Bulgaria | Burkina-Faso | Burundi

c
Cambodia | Cameroon | Canada | Cape Verde | Central African Republic | Chad | Chile | China | Colombia | Comoros | Congo | Congo (Democratic Rep.) | Costa Rica | Croatia | Cuba | Curaçao | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Côte d’Ivoire

d
Denmark | Djibouti | Dominica | Dominican Republic

e
Ecuador | Egypt | El Salvador | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Estonia | Ethiopia

f
Fiji | Finland | Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | France

g
Gabon | Gambia | Georgia | Germany | Ghana | Greece | Grenada | Guatemala | Guinea | Guinea Bissau | Guyana

h
Haiti | Honduras | Hungary

i
Iceland | India | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Ireland | Israel | Italy

j
Jamaica | Japan | Jordan

k
Kazakhstan | Kenya | Korea (Rep. of) | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan

l
Laos | Latvia | Lebanon | Lesotho | Liberia | Libya | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg

m
Madagascar | Malawi | Malaysia | Maldives | Mali | Malta | Marshall Islands | Mauritania | Mauritius | Mexico | Moldova | Monaco | Mongolia | Montenegro | Morocco | Mozambique | Myanmar

n
Namibia | Nauru | Nepal | Netherlands | New Zealand | Nicaragua | Niger | Nigeria | Norway

o
Oman

p
Pakistan | Panama | Papua New Guinea | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Poland | Portugal

q
Qatar

r
Romania | Russia | Rwanda

s
Samoa | San Marino | Sao Tome & Principe | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Singapore | Sint Maarten | Slovakia | Slovenia | Somalia | South Africa | South Sudan (Rep. of) | Spain | Sri Lanka | St Kitts & Nevis | St Lucia | St Vincent & Grenadines | Sudan | Suriname | Swaziland | Sweden | Switzerland | Syria

t
Tajikistan | Tanzania | Thailand | Timor Leste | Togo | Tonga | Trinidad & Tobago | Tunisia | Turkey | Turkmenistan

u
Uganda | Ukraine | United Arab Emirates | United Kingdom | United States | Uruguay | Uzbekistan

v
Vatican City State | Venezuela | Vietnam

y
Yemen

z
Zambia | Zimbabwe

 

9* Countries NOT in Interpol

Kiribati, Micronesia, North Korea, Palau, Palestine, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

*This list of Interpol members may change from one day to the next. Please consult www.Interpol.int for current information.

 

FAQ’s

What can affect my extradition case?


Where you are wanted, where you reside, where you hold citizenship, and where you are detained and awaiting extradition are among many factors affecting your extradition case. Each of the examples found below may result in different outcomes for different reasons:

Detained Inside the United States and Wanted by Another Country
(As a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the U.S.A)

Detained Inside the United States and Wanted by Another Country
(NOT as a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the U.S.A)

Detained Inside the United States and Wanted by Another Country
(As a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the U.S.A)

Detained Outside the United States and Wanted by the United States
(As a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the U.S.A)

Detained Outside the United States and Wanted by the United States
(NOT as a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the U.S.A)

Detained Outside the United States and Wanted by the United States
(with dual citizenship- U.S.A. and another country)

How Long Does an Extradition Case Last?

The length of an extradition case depends on:
1) The nature of the offense charged
2) The level of desire to extradite the individual
3) The nature of the treaty between the two countries
4) The speed with which both countries’ domestic legal systems operate
5) Whether or not the wanted individual is a citizen of the host country

Extradition cases can last for months or as long as 10 years. Each client faces different challenges. Each client has different goals. Please contact George C. Lobb to gain insight into how long cases like yours last.