Today, the fight against crime has moved from the national level to the international level. This has made mutual cooperation of all states in this field inevitable. In this regard, extradition is one of the means of interstate mutual assistance and the most important.
Extradition is the handing over of the criminal to the country where he/she committed the crime or the country where he/she is a citizen.
I. Provision of legal assistance in criminal matters
Issues of legal assistance and extradition in criminal cases is regulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” and “On Extradition”, other legislative acts of the Republic of Azerbaijan and international agreements to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party.
The 1957 European Convention on Extradition stipulates that the Contracting Parties undertake to surrender to each other, subject to the provisions and conditions laid down in this Convention, all persons against whom the competent authorities of the requesting Party are proceeding for an offence or who are wanted by the said authorities for the carrying out of a sentence or detention order.
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Azerbaijan, when legal assistance is requested, it consists of taking appropriate actions in connection with crimes being investigated or prosecuted by the relevant competent authority of the requesting foreign state.
II. Terms of extradition
Article 489.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Azerbaijan states that the actions taken to provide legal assistance are determined by Article 2 of the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters”.
The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Extradition” sets out the conditions for extradition. Thus, Article 2 of the Law defines the conditions of extradition as follows:
- A person requested to be extradited by a foreign state may be extradited only if the act committed by him is considered a crime in accordance with the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic and the requesting state and the offense is punishable by imprisonment for a term of at least one year or a heavier type of punishment.
- A person sentenced by a court of a foreign state to a crime punishable by imprisonment or a heavier type of punishment may be sentenced to serve the sentence. In this case, the unserved term of imprisonment may not be less than six months.
- The type and extent of the punishment provided for the commission of a crime by a person requested may be issued for a crime or several crimes shall be limited to a crime that meets the conditions set forth in Articles 2.1-2.2 of the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic “On Extradition”. In such cases, the provisions of Article 4 of this Law shall apply to that person.
III. Grounds for refusal of extradition
The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Extradition of Criminal Offenders” defines the grounds for refusal of extradition as follows:
- if the requested person is a citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic at the time of resolving the issue of his extradition;
- when a person whose extradition has been granted is granted political asylum in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic in accordance with the procedure established by legislation;
- if the act committed by the person whose extradition is requested and which is the basis for extradition is considered a political crime by the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- when the crime which is the basis for extradition is committed in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic;
- if there is a judgment or decision on termination of criminal prosecution which has entered into force in the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic for the crime which is the basis for extradition;
- Upon expiration of the period of criminal prosecution or execution of a conviction in accordance with the criminal legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan or the requesting foreign state;
- If the offense of extradition is envisaged in the legislation of the requesting foreign state as a crime against military service and does not constitute another crime not related to military service;
- failure to comply with the principle of mutual assistance by the requesting foreign state in connection with the extradition of offenders;
- In accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Azerbaijan, if the crime is prosecuted under a special prosecution (on the basis of a complaint of the victim).
ACON LLC provides legal assistance to individuals in resolving extradition issues in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan and international agreements to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party.