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Khalifa issues law on international judicial cooperation

posted on 13/11/2006: 3305 views

President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued federal law No (39) for 2006 dealing with international judicial cooperation on criminal matters. The 80-article legislation spells out terms and cases regarding extradition of convicted persons, and belongings to a third party country and procedures to be followed before the public prosecution and referral to court.

The law also covers aspects of judicial assistance, immunity of witnesses and experts before foreign judiciary and mechanisms of executing penalties.

According to the law, judicial authorities in the country may cooperate with their foreign counterpart on criminal issues, on the basis of reciprocal treatment.

This law, however, does not constitute any right to any country to claim proceeding in any international judicial cooperation on criminal matters.

As for extradition of persons and properties, the law provides for extraditing defendants or convicted persons to the foreign judicial authority to be interrogated, standing partial trial or serving sentences.

Article 7 of the law stipulates that extradition could only be made if that the crime committed is punishable in that country by only Incarceration for one year or more, that the remaining sentence to be served is not less than six months and that the type of the crime committed is publishable in both countries, irrespective of the crime description by each country.

Article 9 sets out conditions under which extradition request is denied. According to the article, an accused may not be extradited if he/she is a citizen of the country or if the crime committed is of political nature. Political crimes, however, do not include terrorism, war crimes, annihilation, insulting head of state of family members, insulting the prime minister or all persons under international protection and sabotaging the country's public installations or interests.

The accused may also not be extradited if it was proved that the extradition request was made for reasons relating to one's ethnic or religious background, nationality or political views.

It is also denied if the accused was acquitted for the same crime in a previous trial or fully served the sentence, if a fair trial for the same crime was conducted by one of the country's courts, if the case was dropped because time limit had elapsed or if it is suspected that the accused will be subject to inhumane treatment.

Article 10 stipulates that if the accused is under trial in the country for another crime, the extradition shall be stayed until the trial is over.

The law grants the attorney general the right to order detention of the accused, based on a warrant from foreign country. The accused shall not be detained for more than 15 days. According to the law, the convicted person may be subject to public amnesty but not special amnesty, parole or any other type of amnesty without approval from the country in which he/she was convicted.

The law shall be published in the official gazette and shall go into effect as of the date of publishing. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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