USA and Extradition Treaties
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
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
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.