Extradition Agreement between Spain and the United States of America
The regulation of extradition between Spain and the United States is contained in the Instrument provided for in Article 3(2) of the Extradition Agreement between the European Union and the United States of America of 25 June 2003, for the application of the Extradition Treaty between Spain and the United States of America of 29 May 1970, and Supplementary Extradition Treaties of 25 January 1975, 9 February 1988 and 12 March 1996. Now, let us analyse the cases or particularities of the extradition procedure between the two countries.
Extradition procedure between Spain and the United States
In accordance with the provisions of this Treaty in this regard, the Contracting Parties agree to mutually extradite for prosecution or to serve sentence, persons who are requested by virtue of extraditable offences.
Requirements for extradition between the two countries
Extradition shall be for offences punishable under the laws of both Contracting Parties if they carry a penalty of more than one year’s imprisonment or a heavier penalty or, if the person has already been sentenced, if the penalty imposed is more than four months.
Extradition will also be granted for participation in any of these offences, not only as a perpetrator or accomplice, but also as an accessory after the fact, as well as for the attempt or conspiracy to commit them.
A special feature of this treaty is that the offences will give rise to extradition, even if they are not classified in the laws of both parties in the same category of offences or if the offence is not described in the same terminology.
If extradition is granted for an extraditable offence, it shall also be granted for any other offence specified in the request even if the latter offence is punishable by a custodial sentence of less than one year, provided that the other requirements for extradition are met.
Extradition is granted, even if circumstances such as transportation from one state to another that may be elements of the offence have been taken into account for the recognition of the jurisdiction of a federal court.
The statute of limitations
In the case of an extradition treaty between the two countries, extradition will also be granted even if, under the law of the Requested Party, the statute of limitations has expired.
Does amnesty qualify as a ground for refusal of the request?
No. Amnesty is not an exception for extradition between the two nations, unlike treaties with other nations, which recognise amnesty as a ground for refusal of the request.
Surrender of nationals
There is no underlying obligation for countries to surrender their own nationals, however, the competent authority of Spain or the Executive Power of the United States is empowered to surrender them if, in its opinion, it considers it appropriate and as long as it is not prohibited by its own domestic legislation.
Extradition of minors
In the event that a minor is requested, the Requested Party that considers the minor to be a resident and considers that extradition may be detrimental to the social reintegration and rehabilitation of the requested person, may make a reasoned suggestion to the Requesting Party to withdraw the request.
Permissibility of extradition if the requested person is serving a sentence
The Requested Party may postpone extradition proceedings against the person who is under trial or serving a sentence in that State. The postponement may continue until the criminal proceedings have been concluded and the sentence has been served.
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