Executive Summary We are an asset protection law firm not an extradition law firm. We do get a lot of calls and emails regarding extradition and it is almost always concerning the USA. We will discuss the issues involved. Please remember we do not take extradition cases and we do not refer to other law firms that do.
Legal Basis for Extradition There are two ways to get a legal basis. One is through an extradition treaty and the other is through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. Since the USA is very active in extradition we will list the countries they can and cannot extradite from. There are many nations with narcotics treaties through the UN. These treaties can lead to extradition on drug offenses.
Countries With No USA Extradition Treaty - Extradition through proper and correct legal means would not be possible in these countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, USSR, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Yemen South, Zaire & Zimbabwe. Of these countries the ones that we have known expats to live in are colored in Blue. Do read the next list below in that it can have implications on extradition.
Countries with No Extradition Treaties with USA but with Diplomatic Relations There is always a risk of an extradition but will be diminished in the absence of an extradition treaty of any sort. Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bophuthatswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China (People's Republic of China), Ciskei, The Comors, Cote d' Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea (South), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Maldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Philippines, Principe and San Tome, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zaire, and Zimbabwe.
Countries With No Extradition Treaty and No Diplomatic Relations with the USA These countries would be those with the lowest risk for extradition. Andorra, Angola, Bantu Homelands, Bhutan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Ciskei, Cuba, Iran, Korea (North), Libya, Maldives, Serbia, Somalia, Taiwan, Transkei, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. Those in the color Blue are the countries we have known expats to live in.
How Do People Get Located There are a million ways this can happen. It depends on who is looking and how hard, as well as where the subject is. Interpol can alert a nation to the presence of the person through the various notification systems Interpol has put in place. Interpol is only supposed to be used for offenses that are threat to the safety and well being of the public at large. Interpol would generally not handle a case where the underlying offense was say passing bad checks, credit card fraud, driving with an expired license, drunk and disorderly conduct and things like this. They will handle much more serious offenses and no one we know has an absolute list of those offenses.
If You Get Located What Next Well the country that wants you get notified. The country may hold you or not. The requesting country may say we want this person. They may arrest you or detain you awaiting the requesting country showing up and going to court to get an extradition order, which enables you to be shipped back to the requesting country in custody. The detained person can retain a lawyer and fight the extradition. This costs the country where the person is time and money. Frequently they just hand the person over without any court procedures. If the person is not a citizen this can be the way it goes. Panama just hands foreigners over. They do not care of the person has a permanent residency or not. If the person is a citizen then it is a different matter and the person could manage to be tried in Panama for the same crime rather than be extradited. The rule is if you have a citizenship that country will let you go to court and put on a major fight against the extradition and you might win. If the citizenship came along after the offense was committed then it may not do you that much good but in any event should get you into a courtroom.
Dodgey Extradition This is back door countries have used to accomplish extradition. The person is located in a certain country. The country gets notified. They tell the country that the passport of this person has been revoked and please grab it and hold it for us. This leaves the person in the country illegally and also unable to travel. The requesting country then says it will be nice enough to come and deport this person back to the USA. If said person has more than one passport then this plan fails since the person just whips out the other passports and either stays or travels using it.
Summary Extradition is an ill-defined area of law. Countries play dirty and do not follow the law. There are no real laws or rules that need be followed. Don't rely on or count on anything pertaining to the legal system.