DealBreaker Special Report: You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide

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The Wall Street Journal’s report is a bit ambiguous when it comes to the legal status of Kobi Alexander’s possible extradition to the US from Namibia. It claims that “the Namibia government enacted a law to establish an extradition treaty with the U.S.” But, of course, there is no extradition treaty between Namibia and the U.S. and the government of Namibia cannot exactly just pass legislation creating one. There’s this troublesome thing called the U.S. Constitution which sets forth the requirements for enacting a treaty, including things like Senate approval. And, just to be clear, the Senate hasn’t approved any such treaty with Namibia.
So what’s going on? DealBreaker turned to our favorite extradition expert, Douglas McNabb of McNabb Associates for an explanation.
“There is no extradition treaty between the two countries. However, any country can expel anyone they want. If he’s in the country illegally, they can deport him to the US. If he’s there with a visa, they can revoke his visa,” McNabb said. “From this report, it seems that they have passed special legislation—a unilateral extradition statute—that allows for the extradition of someone the US wants,”
McNabb told DealBreaker that similar legislation has been passed in the UK. The US has an extradition treaty with the UK, but the parliament has also unilaterally passed legislation reducing the burden of proof required for extradition from probable cause to a simple presentation of charges against the accused. McNabb served as an expert witness in the NatWest Three extradition case.
McNabb also noted that Costa Rica—which also has a treaty with the US—often doesn’t bother to go through a formal extradition process. “In Costa Rica they just revoke your visa. It becomes an immigration issue rather than an extradition issue. At that point, you are in the country illegally and so they take you to the airport, where US Marshalls are waiting,” McNabb said.
There aren’t many place where a fugitive can hide from US law enforcement, according to McNabb. “In the first place, most places that don’t have a treaty with the US aren’t places you would want to be. Second, as this case shows, just because there isn’t an extradition treaty, doesn’t mean that the US won’t get you,” McNabb said.
International Extradition [McNabb Associates]

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