EXTRADITION TO KUWAIT. Extradition denied
EXTRADITION TO BELARUS. Extradition denied
The prosecutor’s office in Minsk requested the extradition of our client to prosecute him for an alleged bribery offence. According to the documents submitted, he was accused of bribing the director of a public company to obtain the award of a construction contract.
However, behind this formal complaint there was a politically motivated persecution of our client. The motive was his refusal to testify against a public official who was under investigation on the orders of Belarusian President Lukashenko. This was our first ground of opposition to extradition, the demonstration that the request was not based on a just but spurious motivation.
On the other hand, our client was an enterprising Belarusian activist, linked to the political opposition to the Lukashenko regime who had worked for the restoration of a democratic system with fair elections, as well as supporting political prisoners repressed by the Belarusian police and prosecutor’s office. We provided abundant documentation proving my client’s political participation and financing of the opposition in order to defend that the request had no other purpose than the purge of citizens who were not sympathetic to the regime.
Another reason to stop the extradition was that it had been requested by a prosecutor appointed by the president of Belarus and therefore did not comply with the obligation to be impartial, neutral and to carry out his function objectively, taking into account all the evidence for the prosecution and defence, and without being exposed to the directives of the executive power. To this end, we provided an official translation of all Belarusian regulations explaining the system of election of investigating prosecutors.
We also stated that the facts in question were time-barred under Spanish law, as more than five years had passed since they were allegedly committed. We also pointed out that the documentation sent was so vague that it did not even make it possible to establish what acts our client was accused of, in what way he had participated in them, in what place, or any other necessary elements of the offence.
Finally, after the hearing held at the Audiencia Nacional, the extradition was denied and our client has the guarantee that he will not be handed over to the Belarusian authorities.
EXTRADITION TO VENEZUELA. Extradition denied
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas obtained the refusal of the extradition to the Republic of Venezuela of a former judge of the Fourth Court of First Instance, specialised in terrorism offences.
The Venezuelan Government accused our client of being part of a Structured Group of Organised Crime, trained by Colombian paramilitaries, under the directives of the CIA, whose purpose was to attack the President. Nicolás Maduro.
The Criminal Chamber, as argued by the defence counsel, affirmed that in this case, neither the arrest warrant submitted, nor the rest of the documentation submitted by the Party requesting extradition, contains a specific account of the facts, which are criminally typical in both countries, the commission of which is attributed to the requested party, and which serve to support the request for his surrender.
The extradition documents do not contain the dates, perpetrators, place, or any other relevant details of the facts necessary to be able to verify the credibility of the attribution of the crimes.
Therefore, in the absence of an individualisation of the specific acts constituting an offence, as required by Article 15 of the Treaty, given that the requesting State only indicates the legal qualification of the alleged offences attributed to the defendant, the Audiencia Nacional agreed not to grant the extradition requested by Venezuela.
EXTRADITION TO EGYPT. Extradition denied
Chabaneix Abogados obtained that the First Section of the Criminal Division of the National High Court rejected the extradition requested by the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The facts for which our client was requested constituted an alleged crime of manufacture and circulation of counterfeit currency and fraud punishable by temporary hard labour and imprisonment.
This defence put forward various grounds for opposing extradition, among which was the violation of articles 1 and 4.6 of the LEP, as the imposition of a sentence of temporary hard labour, an inhuman and degrading punishment proscribed in our legal system, was envisaged.
This ground was fully accepted by the Chamber which, despite having requested additional information from the Egyptian authorities on the provision in their legal system of mechanisms for the substitution of this penalty, received no reply, which meant that a surrender could not be carried out conditional on the non-imposition of this penalty, especially when it is the only penalty and it is not reported that it can be replaced by another, as it would be an impossible condition to fulfil insofar as it would imply a change in the internal system of that country.
Likewise, in the absence of an extradition treaty between Egypt and Spain, our domestic passive extradition law and the principle of reciprocity apply. In this case, the extradition request did not contain any offer or guarantee of reciprocity, as the Egyptian authorities would never receive an extradition request from a person wanted by the Spanish justice system for the prosecution of crimes punishable by hard labour.
EXTRADITION TO ARGENTINA. Extradition closed
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas succeeded in preventing the extradition of a woman of Russian nationality to the Argentine Republic.
The citizen from the Russian Federation was wanted on the basis of an arrest warrant, which could be subject to question in light of the events in the requesting country. The combined efforts of the defense teams in the requesting country and in Spain led to the closing of the extradition case in our country.
EXTRADITION TO BOLIVIA. Extradition denied
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas has prevented the extradition to Bolivia of a Spanish citizen accused of fraud in the sale of a property.
The firm argued that there was no crime but a civil dispute of a contractual nature between the parties. It also argued that Spanish nationality, in view of its defendant’s roots and the feasibility of prosecution in Spain, should trigger the Treaty’s optional extradition denying clause.
Finally, although the Public Prosecutor’s Office reaffirmed its opinion in favour of extradition regardless of the Spanish nationality of the defendant, the Section exercised the optional protection and rejected the extradition.
EXTRADITION TO ECUADOR. Extradition denied
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas succeeds in preventing a young Spaniard from being extradited to Ecuador. This country was demanding the firm’s client on the grounds of the alleged commission of serious crimes.
The constitutional prohibition of the Ecuadorian Republic regarding the extradition of its nationals allowed the firm to argue the absence of extraditional reprocity and that the Section of the Criminal Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional, with a favourable report from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, finally exercised protection over the defendant and denied his extradition.
EXTRADITION TO MEXICO. Extradition closed.
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas has succeeded in closing the extradition of an international businessman to the United States of Mexico.
After a difficult process in which the lawyers had to manage the communication of the main events that took place in the original proceedings and their effects in Spain, the firm managed to close the extradition case of its client.
EXTRADITION TO SWITZERLAND. Extradition denied
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas obtained on appeal that two foreign citizens resident in Spain were not extradited to Switzerland.
They argued that the crime was time-barred and that the order had to be judicial and not from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Several prosecutors had spoken in favour of extradition and against these arguments.
The debate lay in how European law was interpreted.
The extradition of the clients of this law firm was initially agreed upon by the Section.
In the end, however, after a double appeal, in which all the technical reasons were set out in detail, the Plenary, composed of all the judges of the Audiencia Nacional, found that the lawyers were right and decided that the extradition to the Swiss authorities was not admissible.
EXTRADITION TO BOLIVIA. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas succeeded in avoiding the extradition of a businesswoman in the mining sector to Bolivia on a charge of fraud due to the non-delivery of a shipment of goods.
With a favourable report from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the First Section of the Criminal Court rejected the request for delivery as it did not consider double criminality: the factual background of the case did not constitute a crime but a decriminalised breach of contract, a corporate conflict. To prove this, the defence relied on the fact that the parties maintained a fruitful business relationship without any problems for many years. Likewise, formal reasons such as the illegitimacy of the arrest warrant, or the lack of extraditional reciprocity, were alleged and addressed at the extradition hearing.
EXTRADITION TO BRAZIL. FREEDOM AND EXTRADITION DENIED.
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas, in collaboration with its associated law firm in Brazil, obtained the denial of the extradition of its client to this country.
Our client, a Brazilian national, was arrested by virtue of the international arrest warrant issued by the Federative Republic of Brazil for the crimes of qualified theft, money laundering and membership of a criminal organisation and the Central Court of Instruction ordered his provisional imprisonment.
The Brazilian federal judge revoked the arrest and detention order and ordered the defendant’s release after he filed a habeas corpus petition.
Luis Chabaneix alleged the illegality of the arrest warrant issued by the Brazilian authorities (revoked by their judicial bodies due to the violation of human rights), achieving the objective not only of the immediate release of his client in Spain but also the definitive closure of the extradition proceeding.
EXTRADITION TO CHILE. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Extraditions Lawyers obtained the refusal of the extradition to Chile of an Italian businessman and industrial machinery trader for the offences of property uprising and embezzlement. The Criminal Chamber upheld the arguments of the defence, represented by one of the firm’s lawyers. Firstly, there was no double criminality, since the facts were not a crime in Spain but a mere civil breach of contract.
Secondly, the exception of res judicata was invoked, since our client was investigated for the same facts, and the Italian judge also considered that there was no criminal offence whatsoever and, on the contrary, it was a simple commercial dispute. Both reasons determined that the surrender of our client to Chile was rejected.
EXTRADITION TO ANDORRA. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Our client, a Russian real estate businessman, was arrested on the basis of an extradition request from the Principality of Andorra. The Central Court of Instruction ordered his provisional detention as a result of the extradition proceedings for the crimes of aggravated fraud and misappropriation, disloyal administration, document forgery, asset forgery and money laundering. The maximum penalty applicable to the crimes for which he was wanted was 21 years of imprisonment and it all stemmed from a lawsuit with three “dissatisfied” clients.
At first, Extraditions Lawyers obtained provisional release and, after the hearing, the refusal of extradition. The Public Prosecutor’s Office, at first against our claims, concluded, as we had been arguing, that there was indeed res judicata, since our client was already investigated and his case was filed in the Courts of Catalonia and the Valencian Community. The plaintiffs, not satisfied with this decision, were reproducing their claims in the Battlia d’Andorra, an example of forum shopping.
Likewise, as defense lawyers, we argued that the principle of double criminality did not apply (the facts were not a crime in Spain but a commercial dispute), Andorra had not provided the statute of limitations and, according to the circumstances of the case (forum shopping) and a reservation of the Principality to the European Convention on Extradition, its authorities had to provide sufficient evidence of a crime.
EXTRADITION OF KHALED NEZZAR. NATIONAL COURT. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Chabaneix Abogados obtains the refusal of the extradition of Khaled Nezzar by the Third Section of the Criminal Court of the Audiencia Nacional.
Khaled Nezzar, now 83 years old, was an important military and political figure in recent decades in Algeria, having held the highest positions of government in the country from the Chief of Staff, the Ministry of Defence and the High Committee of State, the country’s collegiate governing body.
He is known to have been a strong opponent of the Islamist political movements fighting for power in Algeria. After his retirement from military and political activity, he and his son became a successful telecommunications entrepreneur through the company Smart Link, which became a leader in satellite communications and Internet.
Even so, General Nezzar never stopped intervening in the political affairs of his country, being very critical of the authoritarian drifts of the country’s politicians and military. Following his stances, he suffered a series of reprisals, including a groundless conviction for conspiracy against the state, the arbitrary closure of his businesses, the issuing of international warrants against him, members of his family and legal advisors, and the censorship of his son’s online newspaper, “Algérie Patriotique”.
At the hearing which took place on 4 December, Luis Chabaneix, Khaled Nezzar’s lawyer, denounced several breaches of the extradition regulations contained in the Passive Extradition Law and in the Extradition Treaty between the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Algeria, as well as the existence of a clearly political motivation for the extradition.
The Audiencia Nacional refused the extradition of Khaled Nezzar on the grounds of violation of Article 2 of the Passive Extradition Law relating to the principle of double criminality. The Passive Extradition Law, through this article, requires that the offences for which the extradited person is requested be offences in both countries, the requesting country (Algeria) and the requested country (Spain).
The crimes that formed part of the extradition documents sent by Algeria are not crimes in Spain, and the Audiencia Nacional had to refuse the extradition.
EXTRADITION TO ECUADOR. EXTRADITION DENIED.
The Criminal Chamber of the National Court has denied the request for extradition of an Ecuadorian man to his country of origin based on the arguments used by CHABANEIX CRIMINAL LAWYERS.
On the one hand, the lack of reciprocity was alleged since there was an express prohibition contained in the Ecuadorian Constitution, by which the Republic of Ecuador would be obliged to deny the extradition of a national of said country who had requested ours. On the other hand, it was demonstrated that the claimed person effectively held Spanish nationality.
MOSCOW CASE. RUSSIAN ACTIVIST, REFUGEE IN FRANCE, IS DETAINED IN SPAIN FOLLOWING AN INTERNATIONAL PETITION ISSUED BY RUSSIA. CASE CLOSED.
Olga K. is a Russian refugee living in France who in 2012 became involved in Gulag.net, a Russian website that publishes allegations of torture and abuse suffered by inmates in the Russian prison system.
Last year Olga, now 37, decided to travel to Spain with her son for a family holiday. What she did not know was that on her arrival in our country she would be arrested. Russia was suing her for drug trafficking.
Luis Chabaneix, as the lawyer responsible for her defence, managed to get Interpol to assert her refugee status in France, which together with her statement, summarising how she was forced to plead guilty to trafficking in Russia, was enough for the Audiencia Nacional to close the case.
EXTRADITION TO CUBA. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING NETWORK. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Our client, grandson and son of dissidents of the Castro regime, was arrested pursuant to an extradition request from the Republic of Cuba. He was requested to be tried for allegedly leading an international organization, by virtue of which he facilitated people’s departure from Cuba, taking them illegally to Mexico and the United States. The maximum penalty applicable to the crimes for which he was claimed was life imprisonment.
For this defense, various arguments were put forward to oppose his surrender, focusing on his Spanish nationality as the one actually used, and the non-existence of the principle of reciprocity on the part of Cuba with regard to the surrender of Cuban nationals.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office was at all times contrary to our claims, but in the end the National Court decided to uphold the position of this defense, denying the surrender of our client to Cuba.
EXTRADITION TO ALGERIA. “EAST-WEST HIGHWAY” CASE EXTRADITION DENIED.
Our client was arrested on the basis of an extradition request to Algeria in which he was accused of being part of a corruption plot in the construction of the East-West Highway, the biggest political-financial scandal of the last decade in Algeria.
The arrest warrant issued for his prosecution did not specify at what time or what exactly our client’s conduct had taken place. Moreover, when Algeria sent the extra-judicial documents, not only did they continue to fail to specify these fundamental elements, but a sentence was handed down which, without explaining the facts, had sentenced our client in absentia to twenty years in prison.
As a defense, we highlighted the obvious lack of determination of the criminal conduct of which our client was accused, that is to say, that the principle of double jeopardy contained in Article 2 of the Passive Extradition Law was not fulfilled.
Despite the persistent insistence of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Audiencia Nacional granted our request to reject the request for extradition to Algeria, precisely because of the formal errors we highlighted.
KOMI KOUTCHÉ, FORMER MINISTER OF ECONOMY AND FINANCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BENIN. EXTRADITION ANNULLED
In this case, CHABANEIX CRIMINAL LAWYERS have defended Mr. Koutché from the extradition request made by the authorities of the Republic of Benin for the crimes of embezzlement of public funds, influence peddling and money laundering, among others.
Initially CHABANEIX CRIMINAL LAWYERS granted Mr Koutché provisional release and, following a hearing at the Audiencia Nacional, extradition was refused on the following grounds:
The facts reported did not constitute a crime in Spain, so the principle of double incrimination is not complied with.
The order issued by the Benin authorities was fraudulent because it was issued when Komi Koutché was unable to attend the summons.
The court set up to try the case is an exceptional political court appointed by the executive branch to prosecute opponents.
There are documented cases of reprisals against opponents of the Regime and the extradition was intended to politically annul the main leader of the opposition, Komi Koutché.
Luis Chabaneix and his team of CHABANEIX CRIMINAL LAWYERSdemonstrated in an absolutely convincing manner all these points, which were included in the judicial resolution denying extradition.
EXTRADITION TO VENEZUELA: FREEDOM AND ARCHIVE OF THE PROCESS
A procedure was initiated in the Audiencia Nacional to extradite to Venezuela a young opponent of Mr. Nicolás Maduro. In 2016, in the course of a revolt in which our client was participating, the death of a captain of the Bolivarian National Guard took place; for this reason, an investigation was opened for homicide against several opponents, including our client.
Our client fled to the United States where he was detained, and his deportation to Spain was decreed, due to his dual Spanish-Venezuelan nationality. His family contacted our Office in order to obtain his release as soon as he arrived in Spain; and we did so, obtaining his release after the first hearing before the Audiencia Nacional.
In the course of the procedure in the Audiencia, in view of the fact that Venezuela did not respect the deadline established in the bilateral Treaty to provide the extraditional documentation, we presented a request for the procedure to be filed. In spite of the opposition of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National High Court granted our request, all cauteral measures imposed were lifted and the extradition procedure has finally been filed.
EXTRADITION TO CHINA. AUDIENCIA NACIONAL. EXTRADITION DISMISSED.
A procedure was initiated in the National High Court, to extradite to China an important businessman from the shipping and natural sector of Hong Kong. He was accused of committing an alleged crime of fraud and multi-million dollar contract fraud against a Chinese state company.
When representing us for his defense, we find that the Public Prosecutor’s Office, in his report, requested that extradition be carried out when there is no element that could prevent it. However, after studying the file in detail, we conclude that the facts for which our client was claimed had prescribed. And in addition, concurred another series of errors in the procedure as for example that the facts related in the red alert of the Interpol (international order of detention) differed completely with those exposed in the file that China sent to the Spanish courts for the resolution of the extradition.
Despite initially having the Public Prosecutor against us, at the hearing before the Chamber, he acknowledged the existence of the impeding causes for the delivery by us. Finally, we obtained the dismissal of the extradition.
EXTRADITION TO ALGERIA. AUDIENCIA NACIONAL. EXTRADITION DISMISSED.
Our client, a businessman from the cosmetics sector, was sued by Algeria to serve a five-year prison sentence that had been handed down in his absence. Italy had already denied his extradition to Algeria for that same request, but the client, upon entering Spain, was again arrested and faced with another procedure with similar characteristics, although the reasons why Italy refused his extradition were not applicable in the Spanish case.
After a thorough study of the new extraditional file, we argued that extradition should be denied due to the absence of the requirement of duality of the crime, since although he was already convicted in Algeria, in Spain his conduct would not have been an offense but a mere administrative offense . This argument was finally estimated by the Chamber, its delivery to Algeria being rejected.
EXTRADITION TO PERU
Our client, a renowned physician with several clinics in the Andean country, had received grants from the public administration to upgrade his medical equipment.
In his case, he has used the funds to recruit staff, which was necessary for the operation of the equipment.
Our client was released at the first hearing and after a careful study of the extradition file, the proceedings were closed.
EXTRADITION TO CHINA. LACK OF DUAL CRIMINALITY. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Luis Chabaneix succeeded in denying the extradition to China of his client, a well-known Chinese businessman based in Singapore.
According to the Chinese authorities, for whom gambling is a criminal activity, the fact that our client was the manager of an important international online gambling website was sufficient reason to prosecute him, with a prison sentence of up to ten years.
Fortunately, the Second Section of the Criminal Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional agreed with the arguments of the defence and rejected the extradition.
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas brought up not only the lack of double criminality (gambling is not only legal in Spain as an economic-business activity but a lucrative business sector, and has a long historical tradition) but also the absence of judicial power in the arrest warrant (it was a police document endorsed by the People’s Prosecutor), or the absence of jurisdiction on the part of the Chinese authorities to prosecute a commercial activity that did not take place in their territory.
EXTRADITION TO ALGERIA. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. EXTRADITION DENIED.
Chabaneix Abogados Penalistas succeeded in having the Criminal Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional denying the extradition of their client to Algeria, where he would face the imposition of a life sentence.
We argued that the crime for which the Algerian authorities were claiming him was time-barred and, after a change of criteria by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the final stage of the extradition hearing (finally accepting the reasoning of the defence), the Magistrates refused to accept the extradition.
EXTRADITION TO THE UNITED STATES. DRASTIC REDUCTION OF PENALTIES TO BE IMPOSED.
Our Ghanaian client was a manager and director of a foreign exchange and goods forwarding company. The FBI accused him of defrauding and laundering more than $10 million and was seeking a sentence of up to 75 years in prison.
The work of the agents and the US Attorney’s Office was meticulous and detailed. When the US authorities provide all the evidence in the case, it is virtually impossible to achieve a complete denying of the extradition to the United States on such grounds. However, after a tough judicial process, on appeal, the Plenary of the Audiencia Nacional partially accepted the arguments put forward by the defence regarding the failure to establish certain key events; which led to a reduction of the sentences to be imposed to less than 9 years.