Extradition agreement between Spain and Venezuela
Extradition is a procedure of International Public Law, by means of which a requesting country, with the intention of judging a person or to serve the sentence that has been imposed on him or her, which is called extraditing, asks the country where the person is located to hand him or her over to the judicial bodies of the country.
Each country has a series of rules to carry out extradition, there are countries in which extradition does not apply, that is to say, extradition is improper, it all depends on whether the requested country has extradition agreements with the requesting country.
On this occasion, we will deal with the particularities and requirements for extradition to take place between Venezuela and Spain.
When has the extradition treaty between Spain and Venezuela been signed?
The extradition treaty between Venezuela and Spain dates back to 4 January 1990 and was approved by the legislature on 25 April 1990. It was ratified on 25 April 1990 and entered into force one day later, on 26 April 1990.
What offences are considered extraditable offences between the two countries?
The treaty establishes that extraditable offences are those punishable, according to the laws of both countries, by a custodial sentence or security measure with a maximum duration of no less than two years, regardless of the modifying circumstances and the name of the offence, i.e. it does not matter if the offence has a different name in other countries.
What happens when the requested person has a final sentence and has absconded?
Article 2 of the treaty stipulates that if extradition is requested for the execution of a sentence, it is also required that the part of the sentence or security measure still to be served is not less than six months. This would be the case, for example, in the case of a person who has fled from justice.
How does extradition under the conventions apply to accomplices to crimes?
In the case of complicity in the commission of offences, the penalties and sanctions are the same for those charged or convicted as accomplices, i.e. accomplices can also be the subject of an extradition request.
In which cases does extradition between Venezuela and Spain NOT proceed?
Extradition will not be granted for crimes considered political or related to crimes of this nature. It is understood that in order to escape extradition, it cannot be alleged that the extradition was carried out for a political purpose, as the treaty establishes:
“The mere allegation of a political purpose or motive in the commission of an offence shall not qualify it as an offence of that nature“.
In order to define what could be considered a political offence, the treaty has made it very clear which or which typology of offence will not be considered, among them:
Attempts on the life of a Head of State or Government, or a member of his or her family.
Offences covered by Multilateral Treaties that impose on the Parties.
Acts of terrorism, against the life, physical integrity or liberty of persons entitled to international protection, including diplomatic agents.
Abduction, hostage-taking or arbitrary kidnapping and the use of bombs, grenades, rockets, automatic firearms or letters or packages with concealed explosives, where such use presents a danger to persons.
How do requested states avoid persecution based on political ideology or for reasons of political persecution or racism?
Currently, judges in Spain find themselves in a dilemma with the extradition treaty signed with Venezuela, as international human rights institutions argue that they cannot be sent to judge Venezuela because the country does not have solid judicial institutions and the extraditions that are requested are for reasons of political persecution.
However, in these cases, the treaty establishes that extradition will not be granted if the requested party (the country where the requested person is located) has reasonable grounds to believe that the extradition request was submitted for the purpose of persecuting or punishing the requested person on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions, or that his situation could be aggravated for these reasons.