Spain has now granted Colombia the extradition of the Colombian ELN guerrilla, nicknamed “El Zarco”, who was under request for crimes of drug trafficking and terrorism, among others, in Colombian territory. He is accused in Colombia of participating in 17 deaths presented as false positives.
Now, let’s look at the extradition agreement between Colombia and Spain.
Reciprocity between the two countries
The Government of Spain and the Government of Colombia undertake to reciprocally hand over to each other individuals convicted or accused by the courts and competent authorities of one of the two contracting states, either as perpetrators or as accomplices.
Prohibition of extradition of nationals
Neither of the Contracting States is obliged to hand over its own citizens or nationals, nor individuals who were naturalised in them prior to the commission of the crime. However, by virtue of the principle of judicial co-operation, the Parties undertake to prosecute and try, in accordance with their respective laws, crimes or offences committed by nationals of one Party against the laws of the other Party, upon the latter’s request.
In which cases extradition applies
For offences punishable by a sentence of more than one year.
In which cases extradition does not apply
In the case of political offences
Nor does it apply in the case of military offences.
The law establishes that under no circumstances will crimes be considered political crimes, including attacks against the president of a country or his immediate family, as well as acts of kidnapping and terrorism.
“Extradition shall not take place: 1. When extradition is requested for a crime or offence for which the individual sought is suffering or has already suffered punishment, or which has been tried and acquitted in the territory of the other Party. 2. If the statute of limitations has expired on the prosecution or punishment, according to the laws of the country to which the defendant is requested.”
Requirements for the request for extradition
The extradition request shall be submitted through diplomatic channels and supported by the following documents:
Authorised copy of the sentence.
When it refers to an accused or persecuted individual, an authorised copy of the arrest warrant or order to proceed issued against him, or of any other document having the same force as said order and also specifying the facts denounced and the provision applicable to them, shall be required.
The personal details of the defendant or accused, as far as possible, in order to facilitate his search and arrest.
In urgent cases, and especially when there is a fear of flight, each of the Governments, relying on one of the documents specified in the law, which serve to prove the request for extradition, may diplomatically request by the most expeditious means, and even by telegraph, and obtain the arrest of the accused or convicted person, on condition that the said document be presented as soon as possible.
Concurrence of several countries in the request for extradition
If extradition is requested concurrently by several States, whether for the same or different acts, the requested Party shall decide, taking into account all the circumstances and especially the relative seriousness and place of the offences, the respective dates of the requests, the nationality of the person sought and the possibility of subsequent extradition to another State.
Procedural costs and expenses
The costs of apprehending and transporting the person sought shall be borne by the government requesting surrender.
Duration of the procedure
However, if within three months from the day on which the convicted or accused person has been secured and placed at the disposal of the diplomatic or consular agent, the documents required for the surrender of the offender have not been presented, the offender shall be released and may only be re-arrested for the same reason on the basis of reliable evidence.