EXTRADITION TREATY WITH TRINIDAD AND TOBAGOSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 105-21
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[Senate Treaty Document 105-21] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] 105th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 1st Session 105-21 _______________________________________________________________________ EXTRADITION TREATY WITH TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting EXTRADITION TREATY BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, SIGNED AT PORT OF SPAIN ON MARCH 4, 1996 July 31, 1997.--Treaty was read the first time and, together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, July 31, 1997. To the Senate of the United States: With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, signed at Port of Spain on March 4, 1996. In addition, I transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Treaty. As the report explains, the Treaty will not require implementing legislation. The provisions in this Treaty follow generally the form and content of extradition treaties recently concluded by the United States. This Treaty will, upon entry into force, enhance cooperation between the law enforcement communities of both countries and thereby make a significant contribution to international law enforcement efforts. Upon entry into force, it will supersede the Extradition Treaty between the United States and Great Britain signed at London on December 22, 1931, and made applicable to Trinidad and Tobago upon its entry into force on June 24, 1935, and which the United States and Trinidad and Tobago have continued to apply following Trinidad and Tobago's independence. That treaty has become outmoded, and the new Treaty will provide significant improvements. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty and give its advice and consent to ratification. William J. Clinton. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of state, Washington, June 13, 1997. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (the ``Treaty''), signed at Port of Spain on March 4, 1996. I recommend that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. The Treaty follows closely the form and content of extradition treaties recently concluded by the United States. The Treaty represents part of a concerted effort by the Department of State and the Department of Justice to develop modern extradition relationships to enhance the United States ability to prosecute serious offenders including, especially, narcotics traffickers and terrorists. The Treaty marks a significant step in bilateral cooperation between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago. Upon entry into force, it will supersede the Extradition Treaty between the United States and Great Britian signed at London on December 22, 1931, and made applicable to Trinidad and Tobago upon its entry into force on June 24, 1935, and which the United States and Trinidad and Tobago have continued to apply following Trinidad and Tobago independence. That treaty has become outmoded and the new Treaty will provide significant improvements. The Treaty can be implemented without new further legislation. Article 1 obligates each Contracting State to extradite to the other, pursuant to the provisions of the Treaty, any person charged with or convicted of an extraditable offense. Article 2(1) defines an extraditable offense as one punishable under the laws of both Contracting States by deprivation of liberty for a period of more than one year, or by a more severe penalty. Use of such a ``dual criminality'' clause rather than a list of offenses covered by the Treaty obviates the need to renegotiate or supplement the Treaty as additional offenses become punishable under the laws of both Contracting States. Article 2(2) defines an extraditable offense to include also an attempt or a conspiracy to commit, aiding or abetting, counselling, or procuring the commission of or being an accessory before or after the fact to an extraditable offense. Additional flexibility is provided by Article 2(3), which provides that an offense shall be considered an extraditable offense: whether or not the laws in the Contracting States place the offense within the same category of offenses or describe the offense by the same terminology; or whether or not the offense is one for which United States federal law requires the showing of such matters as interstate transportation or use of the mails or of other facilities affecting interstate or foreign commerce, such matters being merely for the purpose of establishing jurisdiction in a United States federal court. With regard to offenses committed outside the territory of the Requesting State, Article 2(4) provides the States with discretion to grant or deny extradition if the offense for which extradition is sought would not be punishable under the laws of the Requested State in similar circumstances. The United States recognizes the extraterritorial application of many of its criminal statutes and frequently makes requests for fugitives whose criminal activity occurred in foreign countries with the intent, actual or implied, of affecting the United States. Trinidad and Tobago did not indicate any anticipated difficulty with this provision. Article 2 contains two further provisions proposed by Trinidad and Tobago to facilitate judicial inquiry into the existence of dual criminality notwithstanding differences in the way national criminal laws describe or categories offenses. Article 2(3)(c) instructs the States, in determining whether an offense is extraditable, to evaluate the totality of the acts or omissions presented by the Requesting State, irrespective of differences in how both States' laws describe theconstituent elements of the offense. Article 2(6) contains a similarly helpful provision which rules out a refusal of extradition for revenue-related offenses on the ground that the Requested State's laws do not impose the same kind of tax or duty or do not contain a similar regulation to that of the Requesting State. Article 3 provides that extradition shall not be refused on the ground that the person sought is a national of the Requested State. Neither Party, in other words, may invoke nationality as a basis for denying an extradition. As is customary in extradition treaties, Article 4 incorporates a political offense exception to the obligation to extradite. Article 4(1) states generally that extradition shall not be granted for an offense of a political character. Article 4(2) specifies three categories of offenses that shall not be considered to be political offenses: (a) a murder or other willful crime against the person of a Head of State of one of the Contracting States, or of a member of the Head of State's family; (b) an offense for which both Contracting States are obliged pursuant to a multilateral international agreement to extradite the person sought or to submit the case to their competent authorities for a decision as to prosecution; and (c) a conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the offenses described above, or aiding and abetting a person who commits or attempts to commit such offenses. The Treaty's political offense exception is substantially identical to that contained in several other modern extradition treaties, including the treaty with Jordan which recently received Senate advice and consent. Examples of offenses covered by Article 4(2)(b) include: --aircraft hijacking covered by The Hague Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, done at The Hague December 16, 1970, and entered into force October 14, 1971 (22 U.S.T. 1641; TIAS No. 7192); and, --aircraft sabotage covered by the Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation, done at Montreal September 23, 1971, and entered into force January 26, 1973, (24 U.S.T. 564; TIAS No. 7570). Article 4(3) provides that extradition shall not be granted if the executive authority of the Requested State determines that the request was politically motivated. Article 4(4) permits the executive authority of the Requested State to deny extradition for military offenses that are not offenses under ordinary criminal law (for example, desertion). Article 5 bars extradition when the person sought has been convicted or acquitted in the Requested State for the same offense, but does not bar extradition if the competent authorities in the Requested State have declined to prosecute or have decided to discontinue criminal proceedings against the person sought. Article 6 enables extradition requests to be granted irrespective of statutes of limitations in either the Requesting or Requested State. Article 7 establishes the procedures and describes the documents that are required to support an extradition request. The Article requires that all requests be submitted in writing through the diplomatic channel. Article 7(3)(c) provides that a request for the extradition of a person sought for prosecution be supported by evidence providing probable cause under the law of the Requested State for arrest and committal for trial if the offense had been committed in the Requested State. This is a lesser evidentiary standard than that contained in the current extradition treaty, and therefore should significantly improve the United States' ability to obtain extradition of fugitives from abroad. Article 8 establishes the procedures under which documents submitted pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty shall be received and admitted into evidence. Article 9 sets forth procedures for the provisional arrest and detention of a person sought pending presentation of the formal request forextradition. Article 9(4) provides that if the Requested State's executive authority has not received the request for extradition and supporting documentation within sixty days after the provisional arrest, the person may be discharged from custody. Article 9(5) provides explicitly that discharge from custody pursuant to Article 9(4) does not prejudice subsequent rearrest and extradition upon later delivery of the extradition request and supporting documents. Article 10 specifies the procedures governing surrender and return of persons sought. It requires the Requested State to provide prompt notice to the Requesting State through the diplomatic channel regarding its extradition decision. If the request is denied in whole or in part, Article 10(2) requires the Requested State to provide information regarding the reasons therefor. If extradition is granted, the person sought must be removed from the territory of the Requested State within the time prescribed by its law. Article 11 concerns temporary and deferred surrender. If a person whose extradition is sought is being prosecuted or is serving a sentence in the Requested State, that State may temporarily surrender the person to the Requesting State solely for the purpose of prosecution. Alternatively, the Requested State may postpone the extradition proceedings until its prosecution has been concluded and the sentence has been served. Article 12 sets forth a nonexclusive list of factors to be considered by the Requested State in determining to which State to surrender a person sought by more than one State. Article 13 provides for the seizure and surrender to the Requesting State of property connected with the offense for which extradition is granted, to the extent permitted under the law of the Requested State. Such property may be surrendered even when extradition cannot be effected due to the death, disappearance, or escape of the person sought. Surrender of property may be deferred if it is needed as evidence in the Requested State and may be conditioned upon satisfactory assurances that it will be returned. Article 13(3) imposes an obligation to respect the rights of third Parties in affected property. Article 14 sets forth the rule of speciality. It provides, subject to specific exceptions, that a person extradited under the Treaty may not be detained, tried, or punished in the Requesting State for an offense other than that for which extradition has been granted, unless a waiver of the rule is granted by the executive authority of the Requested State. Similarly, the Requesting State may not extradite such person to a third state for an offense committed prior to the original surrender unless the surrendering State consents. These restrictions do not apply if the extradited person leaves the Requesting State after extradition and voluntarily returns to it or fails to leave the Requesting State within thirty days of being free to do so. Article 15 permits surrender to the Requesting State without further proceedings if the person sought provides written consent thereto. Article 16 governs the transit through the territory of one Contracting State of a person being surrendered to the other State by a third State. Article 17 contains provisions on representation and expenses that are similar to those found in other modern extradition treaties. Specifically, the Requested State is required to represent the interests of the Requesting State in any proceedings arising out of a request for extradition. The United States and Trinidad and Tobago understand that the Requesting State will bear the costs in the event it must retain private counsel to pursue the extradition request. The Requesting State is required to bear the expenses related to the translation of documents and the transportation of the person surrendered. Article 17(3) clarifies that neither State shall make any pecuniary claim against the other State arising out of the arrest, detention, examination, or surrender of persons sought under the Treaty. Article 18 states that the United States Department of Justice and the Attorney General in Trinidad and Tobago may consult with each other directly or through the facilities of INTERPOL in connection with the processing of individual cases and in furtherance of maintaining and improving Treaty implementation procedures. Article 19, like the parallel provision in almost all recent United States extradition treaties, states that the Treaty shall apply to offenses committed before as well as after the date the Treaty enters into force. Ratification and entry into force are addressed in Article 20. That Article provides that the States shall exchange diplomatic notes notifying one another of the completion of their respective requirements for entry into force, whereupon the Treaty shall enter into force. Upon the entry into force of this Treaty, the Extradition Treaty between the United States of America and Great Britain, signed at London December 22, 1931, shall cease to have effect, with noted exceptions, between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago. Under Article 21, either Contracting State may terminate the Treaty at any time upon written notice to the other Contracting State, with termination to become effective six months after the date of receipt of such notice. A Technical Analysis explaining in detail the provisions of the Treaty is being prepared by the United States negotiating delegation and will be submitted separately to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Department of Justice joins the Department of State in favoring approval of this Treaty by the Senate at an early date. Respectfully submitted, Madeleine Albright.