Legal Articles: Criminal Law - Extradition
Extradition Article Guidelines
Where the proposal has already been sent by the requesting party, Interpol will arrest the suspect and produce him to the Public Prosecution within 48 hours of his arrest. After the arrest, investigations are begun, the suspect’s accusation is heard, and a normal trial procedure is started. Moreover, the role of the prosecution is to ensure that the suspect’s investigation is conducted in a fair manner and that the accusations against him are accurate in order for the suspect to be extradited. It should be noted that, unless the UAE courts have jurisdiction to trial the suspect, the Prosecution does not judge the person to be a criminal in the UAE, he is only considered as a person who should be delivered to the concerned country.
After the investigations have been carried out the head of Public Prosecution can either; release the suspect or keep him under custody. If the Public Prosecution decide to keep the suspect under custody they cannot exceed the 15 day custody period. As stated above this can be extended under the General Convention to 40 days altogether and, where there is a personal convention between two countries the custody period can be up to 60 days altogether. Consequently, if after receiving the application for the return of the suspect by the requesting country, the UAE carry out investigations and the Public Prosecution find that the crime is not serious enough to face custody or imprisonment, or that there is no need to keep the suspect in custody, they may release him upon receiving a security deposit or personal guarantee by the suspect.
Furthermore, the payment of the security deposit does not mean that investigations will not continue against the suspect, it only allows the suspect to be released from custody in prison. In the situation where the suspect does not comply with the Public Prosecution’s orders after release from custody, the money will not be given back to the suspect and instead will become government property.
Delay in request made by the concerned country
Where the suspect is released from custody and investigations are still ongoing, normally the UAE Public Prosecution will keep the suspect’s passport so that he cannot escape the country. However, this undermines the UAE constitution and all other international conventions because the suspect will not have the freedom to move freely. Practically if within three to six months the concerned country does not make a request, the suspect will be released and he will be completely free. Nevertheless, this will not prevent the UAE to pre-arrest the suspect again if the requesting country provides a request later and he is still within UAE borders.
Where the requesting country provides incomplete documents
Where the country makes an incomplete request e.g. documents are missing, the concerned department within the Ministry of Justice needs to make sure all received documents are accurate before sending them to the Public Prosecution. However, practically this does not occur and the responsibility of ensuring the completeness of the documents falls on the Public Prosecution. Consequently, where incomplete documents are received by the requesting country, the head of Public Prosecution usually refers the matter to the court with a Reference letter not to accept the request made by the country in question due to incomplete documents.
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