Essay: Pathways to practice extradition law

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Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte

Extradition requested by Spain to the UK: November 3rd, 1998
Countries involved: Chile, Spain and the UK

Defense team:
– Spain: J.M. Stampa Braun, F. Escard”
– UK: C. Montgomery, C. Nicholls

[Arrested on + October 16th, 1998]


Genocide, terrorism and torture during the Chilean dictatorship (1973-1990)

Facts of the case

Mr Pinochet was the President of the Chilean Military Junta, and the President of Chile between 1973 and 1990. Mr Pinochet has been accused of ordering the killings, enforced disappearances and torture of more than 100 political dissidents. Over 3,500 people disappeared or were killed during his 17 years of rule.

Extradition proceedings & key legal arguments

On September 21st, 1998, Mr Pinochet traveled to London with a diplomatic passport issued by the Chilean government, that was supposed to grant him immunity from prosecution in Europe. While in London, France, Switzerland and Spain sent out extradition requests to the UK on murder, torture and genocide charges.

Spain was the first state to press charges against Mr. Pinochet, founded on the Universal Jurisdiction principle embedded in the Spanish Judiciary Act (Ley Org”nica del Poder Judicial). On November 3rd, 1998, the Spanish Judge, Baltasar Garz”n, issued an extradition request against Mr Pinochet on genocide, torture and terrorism charges for crimes committed between 1973 and 1989. Mr Pinochet had already been arrested in London after Spain notified the beginning of investigations to Interpol on October 16th, 1998.

Counsel for Mr. Pinochet criticized his arrest and argued that he was entitled to immunity from prosecution, first as a former Head of State, then under the 1978 Amnesty Act passed by the military Junta in Chile (Ley de Amnist”a de 1978 ‘ Decreto Ley 2191), which granted a general amnesty to those involved in the political crimes committed between 1973 and 1978. They furthermore claimed that his alleged poor health made him unfit to stand trial in Spain.

However, on November 25th, 1998, the House of Lords ruled that Mr Pinochet was not entitled to immunity according to international or British law and cleared his extradition to Spain. The Lords specified that Pinochet could only be prosecuted for crimes committed after 1988, the year during which the UK implemented legislation for the UN Convention Against Torture in the Criminal Justice Act 1988. This invalidated most, but not all, of the charges against him; but the outcome was that extradition could proceed.

The final decision concerning the extradition request was to be made by the judiciary, more specifically by the Magistrates’ Court. On September 27th, 1999 the case reached the court. Finally, on October 8th 1999, the Bow Street Magistrates’ Court decided to extradite Pinochet to Spain on charges of torture and conspiracy to torture. The Court rejected the charges of genocide and terrorism.

Mr Pinochet appealed to the British government claiming, for the second time, that his poor health conditions made him unfit to stand trial. On November 1999, the Chilean embassy in the UK requested a new medical check-up to confirm that Mr Pinochet’s health conditions were deteriorating. Simultaneously, Chile started proceedings against Spain in front of the International Court of Justice for violations of international rules governing diplomatic and consular immunity.

On January 11th, 2000 British Home Secretary Jack Straw ordered Mr Pinochet’s release on health grounds, after the last medical test stated Pinochet was not fit to appear before a court. He was repatriated to Chile in March 2000.

Outcome/Current developments

Authorized to freely return to Chile, Augusto Pinochet died in Chile in 2006, without having been convicted of any crimes committed during his rule.

Erich Priebke

Extradition requested by:
Italy to Argentina; Germany to Italy

Countries involved:
Italy, Argentina and Germany

Defense team:
– Argentina: Pedro Bianchi
– Italy: Paolo Giachini

Extradited on:
November 20, 1995


Genocide, war crimes (intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population or against individual citizens not taking part in the hostilities) and crimes against humanity (1944)

Facts of the case

On March 23, 1944, German troops stationed in Rome gathered 335 Italian civilians from local prisons and streets, shuttled them to the Ardeatine caves on the outskirts of the city and executed every one. Erich Priebke, an SS-Hauptsturmf”hrer, was suspected to have been one of the authors of this massacre. As the war came to a close, Priebke escaped from a British prison camp in Northern Italy to Vatican City, where Bishop Alois Hudal gave him false papers to travel to Argentina. In July of 1948, the Military Court of Rome convicted him in absentia for war crimes committed in the Ardeatine caves. In early 1994, an investigative journalist for ABC News located and interviewed Priebke, who had been living in Argentina. On May 9, 1995, a judge for the Military Court in Rome signed an arrest warrant for Priebke. Shortly thereafter, Italy requested his extradition.

Extradition proceedings and key legal arguments

In response to Italy’s extradition request, Priebke unsuccessfully argued for a ‘political offense exception’ and also for the inapplicability of the bilateral extradition treaty between Argentina and Italy based on the principle of non-retroactivity. He claimed that his actions were merely a product of the chain of command in a time of war and argued that the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution under Argentine law (15 years) had expired. In response to his submissions, the Bariloche Federal Court concluded on May 4, 1995 that the extradition treaty between Argentina and Italy was indeed applicable to his case and that he should be extradited. This conclusion was rejected by the Federal Appeals Court and the extradition was denied on August 24, 1995. The Appeals Chamber’s decision was then overruled by the Supreme Court of Argentina on November 2, 1995, which concluded that the exact charges included genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Regarding the bilateral extradition treaty, the Court reasoned that while the charges were not explicitly included in its categorization of extraditable offenses, the spirit of the treaty was that of international cooperation and assistance in judicial operations and that such heinous crimes could not be excluded based solely on a technicality.
In November of 1995, Priebke was extradited to Italy. On July 16, 1996 Germany filed its own request for Priebke’s extradition from Italy. By August 1, 1996, the Military Court in Rome concluded that he was involved in the massacre but that his actions were not cruel or premeditated and his immediate release was ordered. The case was dismissed on the grounds that the 30-year statute of limitations on war crimes had passed.
The next day, Priebke was rearrested pending potential extradition to Germany for the same offenses. In response to his extradition request from Germany, Priebke argued that his extradition was forbidden under Articles 8 and 9 of the European Convention on Extradition because the ne bis in idem principle guarantees that no one shall be tried twice for the same crime. In response, the Military Court noted that Italian constitutional principles and the rules of Criminal Procedure (Art. 705 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) contradicted European norms (Art. 8 and 9 of the European Convention on Extradition) and concluded that Priebke’s extradition would directly violate several facets of Italian law. His extradition to Germany was denied. In October of 1996, the prosecution’s motion to disqualify two judges from the original Military Court proceedings was accepted by the Supreme Court of Cassation in Italy and a second trial was ordered.
On July 22, 1997, Priebke was convicted in Military Court and sentenced to fifteen years, which was later reduced to five years. Priebke then filed an appeal in 1998 and in subsequent proceedings in the Military Court of Appeals, he was sentenced to life in prison.


After being extradited to Italy, Priebke was sentenced to life in prison but was allowed to live out his life under house arrest due to his age (he was 80 years old at the time). Priebke died in Rome on October 11, 2013 at the age of 100.

Irakli Okruashvili

Extradition requested by:
Georgia to Germany; Georgia to France

Countries involved:
Georgia, Germany and France

Defense team:
– Georgia: Eka Beselia
– France: Louis Marie de Roux, Jean Eric Malabre

France rejected extradition on:
September 10, 2008


Extortion, receiving bribes, criminal negligence (2007); misuse of power, money laundering (2008); and formation of an illegal armed group (2011).

Facts of the case

Irakli Okruashvili served as Defense Minister of Georgia from 2004 to 2006 under President Saakashvili. After resigning from his position, he made allegations against the president related to the deaths and attacks of political opponents, and soon thereafter was himself accused of extortion, bribery and criminal negligence. In October 2007, he was arrested by Georgian police, confessed to the charges and was released on bail.

Extradition proceedings & key legal arguments

After being released on bail, Mr. Okruashvili received a visa from the French embassy in Georgia. He left Georgia and traveled to Germany in November of 2007. He then applied for asylum in the EU. Georgia issued an arrest warrant via Interpol on November 14, 2007 and he was arrested in Berlin on November 27, 2007.
On January 9, 2008, Germany transferred Mr. Okruashvili to France because he had entered Europe on a French Schengen visa. At the time, under Article 9 of the Dublin II Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No. 343/2003 of 18 February 2003) the member state which issued a visa to an asylum applicant is responsible for reviewing the asylum application’in this case, France. Germany also deferred to France in deciding whether to grant or deny Georgia’s extradition request. Mr. Okruashvili and his Georgian defense counsel claimed that his extradition case was politically motivated, rather than based on legitimate grounds. He denied all charges against him as false. On January 30, 2008 he was released on bail in Paris.
On March 28, 2008, a Georgian court sentenced Mr. Okruashvili, in absentia, to 11 years in prison for extortion and bribery. His Georgian defense counsel refused to partake in the proceedings, claiming the case to be a miscarriage of justice.
France granted Mr. Okruashvili political asylum on April 23, 2008. Finally, on September 10, 2008 the Paris Court of Appeals rejected Georgia’s extradition request.


After Georgia’s extradition request was rejected by the French court, Mr. Okruashvili remained abroad in France until 2012.
On November 20, 2012 Mr. Okruashvili returned to Georgia, after the Georgian Dream party defeated the former majority party in national elections. He was arrested upon his arrival in Georgia in connection with his 11-year prison sentence as well as additional charges brought against him in 2011.
On January 11, 2013, the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned Mr. Okruashvili’s conviction and released him on bail. By February 7, 2013 all charges against him were either cleared by the court or dropped by the Prosecutor’s Office.
In April of 2014, Mr. Okruashvili entered the elections for Mayor of Gori, but a court ruled that he was barred from the election because he did not meet the minimum two-year residency requirement, due to his time abroad in France.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Extradition requested by:
Tunisia to Saudi Arabia

Countries involved:
Tunisia, Saudi Arabia

Defense team:
– Tunisia: Hosni Beji, four other public defenders
– France: Jean-Yves Le Borgne
– Lebanon: Akram Azoury

Tunisia requested extradition on:
February 20, 2011


Murder, voluntary manslaughter, corruption, drug use, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, trafficking archaeological artifacts, theft, illegal possession of cash and jewelry, inciting disorder (2011).

Facts of the case

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was the President of Tunisia from 1987 to 2011. His regime was widely perceived as corrupt among Tunisian people, with allegations of stealing public funds to benefit his family and reports of torturing political opponents. During the Tunisian Revolution from December 2010 to January 2011, he and his security forces were implicated in the killings of dozens of protestors. On January 14, 2011 he resigned the presidency, fled the country, and he has been living in Saudi Arabia ever since. After fleeing the country, Tunisian authorities discovered hidden drugs, weapons, cash, and archeological artifacts in his presidential palace.

Extradition request & legal proceedings

Mr. Ben Ali and his family have been living in Saudi Arabia since they fled Tunisia on January 14, 2011.
On January 26, 2011 Tunisia issued an international arrest warrant via Interpol for Ben Ali, his wife and five family members. The charges included property theft, illegally acquiring assets and illegal transfer of foreign currency. On February 20, 2011 Tunisia formally issued an extradition request to Saudi Arabia for Ben Ali, adding charges of voluntary homicide linked to deaths of protestors during the Tunisian Revolution.
The government of Saudi Arabia rejected the extradition request, and no formal extradition proceedings took place in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia welcomed him and his family due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the Tunisian Revolution, and cited Islamic hospitality as a reason for their refusal to extradite. Furthermore, Ben Ali was allegedly in poor health.
In June 2011, Tunisian authorities decided to try Mr. Ben Ali and his wife in absentia. Tunisian law prohibited a foreign lawyer from defending a client in absentia, and so he was represented by five Tunisian public defenders.
The Tunisian courts held a series of military and civilian trials over the next 12 months while Ben Ali continued to live abroad in Saudi Arabia. On June 20 he was sentenced to 35 years in jail for embezzlement of public funds. On July 4 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking drugs, weapons, and archaeological artifacts. On July 28 he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for corruption and property fraud.
On June 13, 2012 Ben Ali was sentenced to 20 years in prison for inciting disorder, murder and looting. Later that day, he was sentenced to life in prison for 23 killings that occurred during the revolution. On July 19 he received a second life sentence for his complicity in 43 killings during the revolution.

Current developments

From June 2011 to June 2012 Ben Ali was tried and convicted, in absentia, in five military and civilian trials held in Tunisia. He was sentenced to life in prison for dozens of homicides during the revolution, as well as other convictions including corruption, trafficking and theft. The government of Saudi Arabia has continued to refuse his extradition.
There have been no further extradition requests from the Tunisian government, and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali remains in Saudi Arabia. The Tunisian government has recovered some funds from Swiss and Lebanese bank accounts owned by Ben Ali and his wife.

Jamil Mukulu

Extradition requested by:
Uganda to Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Tanzania

Countries involved:
Uganda, Tanzania, DRC

Defense team:
– Tanzania: Martin Rwehumbiza

Extradition granted by Tanzania on:
June 25, 2015


Terrorism, murder, treason

Facts of the case

Jamil Mukulu was the leader of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an extremist Islamic rebel militia group operating within Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The ADF is accused of having connections to Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the ADF conducted an insurgent campaign of terrorism against the Ugandan government while operating from mountain bases along the Uganda-DRC border. Throughout a 20-year period, the ADF was reportedly responsible for murdering hundreds of people in several massacres, several bombings in the Ugandan capital city of Kampala and multiple instances of looting.

Mukulu was wanted in Uganda for many of these charges, but one incident in particular stands out: his complicity in the June 8, 1998 massacre at Kichwamba Technical Institute in western Uganda. The ADF was responsible for burning 80 students to death in their dormitories, and abducting over 100 more students during this attack.

In the DRC, Mukulu was wanted for the ADF’s complicity in the assassination of Colonel Mamadou Ndala on January 2, 2014. Colonel Ndala was leading the fight against the ADF and other rebel militia groups near the DRC border with Uganda.

Extradition proceedings & key legal arguments

On February 14, 2011, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Mukulu’s arrest. It was issued at the request of Ugandan authorities seeking to try Mukulu for his charges of terrorism, murder and treason.

On November 17, 2014, a DRC military tribunal convicted Mukulu, in absentia, of terrorism and insurrection, and sentenced him to death. The charges were related to the January 2014 assassination of a Congolese military colonel. However, due to the DRC’s moratorium on carrying out death sentences, a life sentence is a more likely outcome if Mukulu is ever arrested in the DRC.

Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania on April 28, 2015 for illegal possession of firearms. Shortly after realizing his identity, Tanzanian police transferred Mukulu to the capital in Dar es Salaam. On April 30, after confirming his identity, Ugandan authorities requested Mukulu’s extradition from Tanzania. His extradition hearing began on May 8, 2015. Then on May 11, the DRC issued an extradition request for Mukulu to Tanzanian authorities, though his extradition hearing to Uganda was still pending.

During his extradition hearing in Tanzania, Mukulu presented a defense alleging that he would not receive a fair trial in Ugandan court due to his ideological differences with the Ugandan government. He also alleged that the prosecution in his extradition hearing did not present sufficient evidence to place Mukulu at the scene of any of the murders he is charged with committing. Finally, Mukulu alleged that the charges against him were political in nature and therefore his extradition was barred by Article 6 of the Extradition Treaty between Tanzania and Uganda.
The court disagreed with Mukulu’s allegations and found that the prosecution submitted sufficient evidence to warrant his extradition. On June 25, 2015, the Tanzanian court ruled in favor of extraditing Mukulu, finding that the charges against him were not political and that he would face a fair trial in Uganda. On July 10, 2015, Mukulu was extradited to Uganda.


After being extradited to Uganda, Mukulu faced charges for terrorism, murder and treason. His hearing in the High Court of Uganda began in September 2015.

Vincent Brown (Vincent Bajinya)

(he is one of the Rwandan 5 : also requested were Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, Celestin Ugirashebuja and Celestin Mutabaruka)

Extradition requested by : the Government of the republic of Rwanda (‘GoR’)

Countries involved : UK and Rwanda

Defence team :

Vincent Brown: Alun Jones QC and Sam Blom-Cooper
Charles Munyaneza by Tim Moloney QC and Ian Edwards
Emmanuel Nteziryayo by Diana Ellis QC and Joanna Evans
Celestin Ugirashebuja by Edward Fitzgerald QC and Rachel Kapila then Kate O’Raghallaigh and
Celestin Mutabaruka by Helen Malcolm QC and Mark Weeks.

Extradition request discharged on: 22 December 2015


Genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; complicity in genocide; crimes against humanity; premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder; inciting, aiding or abetting public disorder; participation in acts of devastation; massacres and looting; and finally: formation, membership, leadership and participation in an association of a criminal gang whose purpose and existence was to do harm to people or their property.

Facts of the case:

Vincent Brown was a close associate of President Habyarimana, and a member of the Present’s inner circle: the Akazu. It is said that he and played active part in the killings of the Rwandan genocide in which an estimated 800,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsis but including some moderate Hutus, died between April and May 1994.
It is alleged that Mr Brown participated in the national republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) party meetings prior to April 1994 and was a member of MRND under 1993 when the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) was founded. It is also said that he attended a meeting in Kigali at Myamirambo Stadium in 1993 in which he was in charge of protocol, where Hutus were called to disassociate themselves from the Tutsi who were named to be the enemy.
Additionally, he attended the swearing-in ceremony for the interim government on 4 July 1994 at Kibehehank where he collected financial contributions, established and supervised the manning of roadblocks in Rugenge (Kigali) and near to Kibihekane School in the North-West of Rwanda where killings took place.

Extradition proceedings & key legal arguments

Extraneous considerations
Under section 79(1)(b) and section 81 of the Extradition Act, all five requested persons relied on this bar, including Mr Brown. Mr Brown contended that the Government of Rwanda approach is that all 1994 Hutu offficials were involved in the genocide and the prosecution has been made against him because of his high profile in the diaspora.
Passage of time
Under section 79(1)(c) and section 82 of the Extradition Act, this bar was relived upon by Mr Brown who contended that extradition would be unjust and oppressive by reason of the passage of time and the conduct of the Rwandan authorities in the intervening years.
Section 87 Extradition Act
Articles 3, 6 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights
Mr Brown argued that extradition would be incompatible with their Convention rights, so they should theefore be discharged under section 87(2) of the Extradition Act as follows:
Article 3: Mr Brown who argued in his Closing Submissions that there was a real risk that if extradited he would be treated in a way that would breach his Article 3 rights which state that ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’.
The judge accepted this Article 3 argument and stated that the protection provided therein was absolute, despite the accusation of very serious crimes. She also stated that the protection provided by Article 3 is one of the most important guarantees given by the Convention.
However after examining the evidence, the judge found that if Mr Brown was to be returned to Rwanda, there would be no grounds for her to believe that he would face a real risk of being subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 6: Mr Brown’s representation argued that they rely on a number of witnesses who say they are too frightened to give evidence for the defence and evidence which they say indicates that prosecution witnesses have been bribed or threatened into giving evidence. It was also submitted that judges are not impartial, and relied on specific evidence of Judge Witteveen, the Government of Rwanda expert who said the defence fraternity in Rwanda is not sufficiently able or experienced to defend a case of this level of difficulty and submitted that this case be considered in light of the current political situation in Rwanda.
Article 8: The argument failed, but the right to family and private life was raised by Mr Brown and it was submitted that if he were to be extradited he would leave his wife and children behind and lose his employment in the UK as a doctor. It was argued that it would be disproportionate to extradite him when he can be tried in the UK.


The extradition request was discharged by the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 22 December 2015. In this latest ruling, the judge said: “From the evidence I heard and read I have no doubt at all that the overall picture of Rwanda is of an authoritarian repressive state that is not less so than it was and is probably more so than in 2008-9, a state that is stifling opposition in a number of ways. There is evidence that the state is suspected of threatening and killing those it considers to be its opponents or they simply disappear at home and abroad.
“There is evidence that suspects can be tortured in secret camps where basic human rights are ignored.”


Edward Snowden

Extradition requested by:
United States of America to China (Hong Kong), Russia (informally) and Venezuela (preemptively)

Countries involved:
United States of America, China (Hong Kong), Russia, Venezuela

Defense team:
– Russia: Anatoly Kucherena
– United States: Jesselyn Radack, Ben Wizner
– Hong Kong: Albert Ho, Jonathan Man, Robert Tibbo
– Germany: Wolfgang Kaleck

Asylum granted in Russia on:
August 1, 2013


Theft, espionage through unauthorized communication of defense information and willful communication of classified information to an unauthorized person (2013).

Facts of the case

Edward Snowden was formerly employed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and by a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA). In early 2013, Snowden reached out to three journalists regarding data he had collected on global email and telephone surveillance programs while working at these agencies. He believed the programs to be illegal, and after failed attempts to bring up these concerns with supervisors, decided to publicly reveal information he had collected. By May of 2013, he sent these classified documents to those journalists.

On May 20, 2013, Snowden took a leave of absence from his job with an NSA contractor in Hawai’i and left for Hong Kong. Starting on June 5, 2013, the Guardian and other news agencies began publishing articles based on the documents that Snowden had leaked. On June 9, 2013, it was revealed that Snowden was the source of the data leak and that he was living in Hong Kong.

Extradition proceedings & key legal arguments

On June 22, 2013, USA authorities publicly announced that Snowden was charged with theft, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified information to an unauthorized person. The latter two charges were violations of the 1917 Espionage Act, intended to prosecute spies during World War I. The USA subsequently filed paperwork with Hong Kong authorities to detain Snowden for extradition.

The USA does not have a formal extradition treaty with China. However, the ‘USA-Hong Kong Agreement for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders’ signed shortly before Hong Kong transitioned from the UK to China was still in effect under the authorization of China. The agreement stipulated that both the USA and Hong Kong agreed to surrender fugitives when the principle of dual criminality applied, but either party retained the right to refuse surrender in cases of certain politically motivated charges. Furthermore, China retained the right to veto a surrender if it believed the action would harm China’s defense, foreign affairs or essential public interest or policy. The agreement, therefore, is not technically an extradition treaty, as Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous region within China.
Shortly after these charges were announced, Snowden left Hong Kong. Authorities in Hong Kong did not stop Snowden’s departure because the legal paperwork submitted by the USA was deficient. The documents submitted had an incorrect middle name for Snowden and failed to provide his passport number. Due to these errors, Hong Kong authorities stated that they had no legal authority to prevent Snowden’s departure. Coincidentally, Chinese and Hong Kong officials expressed concern over some of Snowden’s allegations that the USA had hacked mobile phone carriers in China and Hong Kong.

Snowden intended to travel to Central America with connecting flights through Moscow and Havana. However, the US Department of State rescinded Snowden’s passport. Consequently, he became stranded upon landing at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on June 23, 2013.

President Barack Obama vowed to pursue all available legal channels to extradite Snowden. Despite assurances by the USA that Snowden would not face torture nor the death penalty, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused extradition because there was no extradition treaty between Russia and the USA, and because Snowden was within a ‘transit area’ within the airport. Thus, he had not yet technically entered Russia.

The USA also began sending preemptive extradition requests to countries for Snowden’s arrest and extradition should he step foot in those countries. This included Venezuela, rumored to be Snowden’s final destination, as well as Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Current developments

On June 30, 2013, Snowden applied for asylum in Russia as well as 20 other countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America. On August 1, 2013, Russia temporarily granted asylum to Snowden for one year, while considering his application for permanent political asylum. As a result, he was finally able to leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after having lived there for over a month. One year later on August 1, 2014, Snowden received a three-year residency permit in Russia. He is reportedly working in the IT field in Russia, but his location has been kept private.

On October 29, 2015, the European Parliament passed a measure recognizing Snowden’s status as a whistleblower and an international defender of human rights. The measure called on European Union member states to drop any pending criminal charges against Snowden, grant him protection and prevent his extradition or rendition by third parties. However, this measure was non-binding, and all EU member states have extradition treaties with the USA.

In April of 2016, Snowden’s attorneys filed a civil lawsuit in Norway attempting to secure his free passage to the country in order to accept a free speech award. However, on June 27, 2016, a Norwegian court dismissed the lawsuit, reasoning that the country’s extradition laws only apply to those who are already in the country, thus the court could not rule on such a matter.

In September 2016, the ‘Pardon Snowden’ campaign began involving activists, lawyers, and prominent politicians, calling for Snowden to be allowed to return to the United States. His advocates cite his contribution to democracy through exposing the NSA’s abuse of powers, and ask President Obama to give him a Pardon before the next election in November 2016.

Christopher Skase

Extradition requested by:


Countries involved:

Spain and Australia


Extradited on:

Extradition was applied for in 1994, but he was never extradited from Spain as he died of stomach cancer in Majorca in August 2001.


Christopher Skase was sought by the Australian government for fraud. There were two sets of charges. The first set of charges were 30 counts of dishonest conduct as a company director pursuant to the Companies (Queensland) Code 1982. The second set of charges were 7 counts of failure to disclose relevant information under s267 of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Commonwealth).

Facts of the case

Christopher Skase was a multi-millionaire businessman accused of company fraud of AUD$79 million dollars. The bankruptcy charges relate to the transfer of AUD$2.5 million dollars to his personal accounts. Skase was a stockbroker who later owned a company named Quintex Group, which was worth AUD$1.5billion by the late 1980s. The company’s assets included large Resort Hotels and shares in the Seven Televisions Network. In 1989 Skase began transferring funds into foreign bank accounts, and in 1994 demanded that the Quintex Board pay AUD$13.5million into one of his privately owned companies. This was reported to the Australian Securities Commission, who found he was AUD$700million in debt. Soon thereafter he fled to Majorca, Spain.

Successive Australian Governments made extradition requests to Spain without success. Through the late 1990s Australian media frequently reported on his whereabouts and health status in what was popularly known as the ‘Chase for Skase.’

Extradition proceedings and key legal arguments

Skase claimed he was unable to travel to Australia due to a life-threatening lung condition.

On September 8, 1994 the Audiencia Nacional granted the Australian government application with respect to the first set of charges. The court applied the principle of dual criminality and as the charges and evidence in support of them would be recognised under Spanish law, they considered that the request for extradition was legal. However, the second set of charges relating to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) did not conform to the principle of dual criminality and extradition was denied with respect to these charges. The Audiencia Nacional made it a condition of extradition that Skase’s transport to Australia by sea included specialist medical care.

The Australian Government appealed to the Full Court of the Audiencia Nacional.

In relation to the dual criminality, the Full Court took a broad interpretation of the European Extradition Treaty and held that the second set of charges should not be dismissed just because of procedural differences between Spanish and Australian law.

The court considered the fundamental human rights of Skase. The Full Court ruled that the basic individual right to life, physical integrity and health must prevail over a State’s right to penalise including a State’s authority to prosecute. Therefore, in this extradition, it is in order to sacrifice the right of the Australian government to prosecute and punish the offences attributed to Skase if, in implementing their right, his health may be damaged or his life endangered.

They required the Australian government give an assurance to transport Skase in a manner that did not infringe his human rights and provided for his health care under transportation.


Skase was never extradited to Australia as he died of stomach cancer in Majorca in August 2001.


Domenico Rancadore (a.k.a. Marc Skinner)

Extradition requested by:
Italy to the United Kingdom

Countries involved:
Italy, United Kingdom

Defense team:
– UK: Euan Macmillan, Karen Todner

Released on:
March 31, 2015


Mafia association, murder, extortion, racketeering, drug trafficking (1994).

Facts of the case

Domenico Rancadore was involved in the Sicilian Mafia during the 1980s, and was eventually charged with various Mafia-related crimes. After a three-year trial in Italy, Rancadore was acquitted of these crimes in 1993. One year later in 1994, he and his family moved to a town in western London, England. Later that same year, new charges of being associated with the Mafia were brought against him and he was placed back on Italy’s most wanted list. In 1999 an Italian court convicted Domenico Rancadore, in absentia, and sentenced him to seven years in prison. A European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was issued and Rancadore was arrested in the UK on August 7, 2013.

Extradition proceedings & key legal arguments

Rancadore’s extradition proceedings began in November of 2013. During the proceedings, he was initially granted bail. However, his bail was later revoked after a successful appeal by the prosecutors, who argued that Rancadore posed a flight risk should bail be granted. On November 27, he suffered a heart attack while in jail and was rushed to a nearby hospital. After his recovery he was returned to jail and his case continued.

Rancadore and his defense lawyers argued that his extradition to Italy would violate his human rights. They based this claim on the fact that Italian prisons were at the time suffering from overcrowding. His lawyers argued that this prison overcrowding would subject Rancadore to inhuman or degrading treatment, and that these prison conditions could potentially worsen his heart condition.

On March 17, 2014, a UK judge rejected Rancadore’s extradition. Although the judge found the EAW to be valid, he was unconvinced by assurances from Italy that prison conditions would not violate Rancadore’s human rights. Rancadore was discharged on a ”20,000 bail, with conditions to report to his local police station daily and to strictly obey a curfew. The UK prosecutors attempted to appeal this decision, but they filed the paperwork too late, thus precluding an appeal.

However, only a few weeks later on April 4, 2014, Rancadore was rearrested in the UK The arrest was based on a new EAW that Italian authorities issued and it was based on the same charges as Rancadore’s previous extradition case. Rancadore’s lawyers argued this re-arrest was an abuse of process, but the new extradition case proceeded nonetheless.


On February 20, 2015, a UK judge approved Rancadore’s extradition. This time the judge was satisfied that Rancadore’s human rights would not be violated upon extradition to Italy, due to significant efforts in Italy to reduce prison overcrowding.

However, Italian authorities failed to inform their UK counterparts that Rancadore’s case had technically expired in October of 2014. Under Italian law, once a time period of more than twice the length of the sentence has transpired, the sentence is considered to be expired. Therefore, on March 31, 2015, the Italian Court of Appeal formally ended Rancadore’s case and withdrew the EAW. Rancadore was released and no longer faced extradition.

Lawyers from both sides cited the appeals paperwork delay in March of 2014 as the key to Rancadore avoiding extradition. Without this delay, it is possible that Rancadore’s extradition would have been granted on appeal before the expiration of his sentence in October of 2014.

Abu Salem Abdul Qayoom Ansari (a.k.a. Abu Salem)

Extradition requested by:
India to Portugal

Countries involved:
India and Portugal

Defense team:
– Portugal: Manuel Luis Ferreira
– India: Saba Qureshi

Extradited on:
November 11, 2005


Murder, criminal conspiracy, attempted murder, extortion, kidnapping, causing grievous injury by dangerous weapons.

Facts of the case

Abu Salem was a member of the Dawood Company, an international organized crime syndicate, during the 1980s and 1990s. On March 12, 1993, the group coordinated a series of 13 bomb explosions across Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India killing over 250 people and injuring nearly 1,000 people. Salem was not only charged for his connection to the bombings, but authorities in India have also sought to question him regarding over 60 murders, cases of extortion and kidnappings involving Bollywood producers and actors.

In the late 1990s, Salem reportedly left the Dawood Company, and fearing repercussions, fled India and moved to Dubai. He was arrested in Dubai in 2001, but was released on bail shortly thereafter since Indian authorities failed to produce sufficient evidence for his extradition back to India.

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