An increasing number of countries refuse to extradite persons who may be tortured, executed or otherwise subjected to human rights violations in the requesting country. For example, when the alleged serial killer at the time, Charles Ng, fled the United States for Canada, which had banned the death penalty in 1976, Canada was reluctant to extradite him to the United States, where he could be sentenced to death. In 1991, after a long dispute, Canada agreed to extradite Ng to California, where he was tried and convicted of 11 murders. International relations are often strained when the extradition of criminals or suspected criminals is denied. Countries refused extradition often claim – rightly or wrongly – that the rejection was based on politics rather than law. Several countries refuse to extradite their own citizens. For example, when director Roman Polanski – a French citizen – fled to France after being convicted of drug use and sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in the United States in 1978, the France refused to extradite him. These countries often prosecute, condemn and punish their citizens accused of crimes committed abroad as if the crime had taken place in their own country. As a general rule, countries grant extradition only if the alleged crime is punishable in both countries. In addition, most countries refuse to extradite people accused of certain political crimes such as treason, sedition and espionage.
Some countries also apply exemptions for dual risks and refuse to extradite people who have already been punished for the crime in question. The 1997 agreement had no form of extradition treaty. Hong Kong`s extradition law proposed by hong Kong`s Legislative Council in April 2019 would have allowed Hong Kong to detain and transfer wanted persons to countries and territories with which it did not have formal extradition agreements, including Taiwan and mainland China. Hong Kong`s head of government said at the time that the law was urgently needed to prosecute a Hong Kong man wanted in Taiwan for murder. The basic extradition procedure as practiced in the United States is typical. If the U.S. government determines that a person residing in a foreign country must be removed to face trial or punishment, a complaint will be filed in each U.S. federal court outlining the charges and related requirements of the extradition treaty. If the court finds that the complaint is justified, an arrest warrant is sent to the foreign government for the extradition of the person. Without a treaty, extradition becomes a political rather than a legal process, so the chances of Snowden`s eventual return to the United States remain unpredictable depending on the outcome of diplomatic and foreign policy negotiations. Today, Snowden continues to live in Moscow after being granted temporary asylum extended.
Since Russia does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, the Kremlin has rejected all extradition requests from the United States. For example, in 1977, when radical environmentalist Ira Einhorn, who is remembered today as a “unicorn killer,” was accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Unicorn fled the country, married a Swedish heiress, and spent the next 24 years lavishly in Europe. After being convicted in absentia in the United States and arrested in France in 1997, Einhorn`s extradition seemed inevitable. However, the extradition treaty between the France and the United States allows both countries to refuse extradition in certain circumstances. In 2001, after more than two decades of convoluted extradition negotiations involving French law, the European Court of Human Rights and the Pennsylvania State Legislature, the France finally agreed to extradite Unicorn to Philadelphia. Although he became a star of the human rights cause in France and a popular hero of counterculture in the United States, a jury in Philadelphia quickly sentenced Einhorn to life in prison, where he died on April 3, 2020. Under international law, extradition is a cooperative process in which a country extradites a person to another country for prosecution for crimes committed within the jurisdiction of the requesting country. Extradition, usually facilitated by bilateral or multilateral treaties, has become increasingly important due to the growth of transnational criminal organizations, such as those responsible for terrorism, trafficking in drugs and human beings, counterfeiting and cybercrime. Many ordinary Hong Kong residents hated the extradition bill and saw it as a final defeat in their long struggle to protect dissent and anti-communist political opposition in their city. In October 2019, after six months of often bloody protests against him, the extradition bill was officially withdrawn by Hong Kong lawmakers. .