criminal law


October 09, 2023



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Extradition in the UAE is organized by a specific law for judicial cooperation called Law No. 39 of 2006. However, this law might not be applied if there was an extradition treaty between UAE and other countries, since I covered the judicial cooperation law in my previous articles I will start in my next series of articles covering extradition under different types of treaties, bearing in mind that the UAE signed extradition treaties with multiple countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, India, China, United Kingdom, Armenia, Sudan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Australia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Spain and many other countries.

In my previous articles, I covered the extradition treaties with IndiaChina, and United Kingdom

On top of these one-to-one treaties, there are additional conventions signed between the Arab countries.

  1. The treaty between Arab countries, UAE joined this treaty on 30 April 1972 and the treaty included in addition of Arab countries Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen that’s of course besides Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt who signed a one-to-one treaty at a later date.
  1. The second international treaty signed between Arab countries was the Riyadh Treaty which the UAE became a party on 15th April 1999. This treaty included countries like Bahrain, Tunisia, Jordan, Algeria, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauretania and Yemen.

In this article, I will cover the treaty between UAE and Pakistan and in other future articles, I will be covering different treaties one by one.

On 29 January 2005, the UAE decided to recognize the treaty signed with the Pakistani government and starting from this date the treaty shall supersede the UAE local laws related to extradition.

In compliance with this treaty, each signatory party should extradite the individual if he was accused of acts criminalized by both the UAE laws and Pakistani laws with expected sentences of not less than one year even if there was no criminal judgment yet.

However, if UAE or Pakistan is asking for extradition based on a criminal judgment then the sentence in the judgment shall not be less than 6 months. The extradition shall only be done between UAE and Pakistan and not to any other third party who is not a signatory to this one-to-one treaty.

If the extradition request was made based on a criminal complaint which has not been awarded by judgment yet, then such extradition could be made if there was reasonable evidence that the person committed the crime of which he is accused.

The extradition between UAE and Pakistan shall not be made in the following cases:

  1. If the person is accused of political accusations or if it’s clear that the extradition request is built on political grounds.
  2. If the person has been charged for the same crime previously in Pakistan, UAE or any other country.
  3. If the crime is subject to time limitation in the country which has requested to send the individual.
  4. If the person accused has already executed the sentence in the country where he is based or any other third country.
  5. If the person has the right to asylum.
  6. If the person is requested to be extradited based on a military crime.

The execution of the extradition could be suspended if the person is facing criminal charges for different crimes in the country where he is a resident, in such cases he should first execute the sentence or get released from the crimes he is accused of before the extradition is executed.

So if we assume that Pakistan is requesting the extradition of a Pakistani national who is a UAE resident but in the meantime the same person is facing criminal charges in the UAE for cases like fraud, theft, breach of trust or any other criminal accusations then in such cases the person first shall finish the criminal investigation and get the judgment for the criminal case in the UAE and if the judgment includes jail sentence then he shall execute it in the UAE and then when he finishes the criminal charges here then the extradition could be enforced to send him back to Pakistan to deal with the criminal charges there.

In other words, if the person committed two crimes, one in Pakistan and one in UAE and if he is based in the UAE, it is expected that he should finish the charges in the UAE first before being sent back to Pakistan.

The treaty recognized one of the most well-established concepts in extradition where none of the countries do extraction of their citizens. In other words, if the UAE is requesting for extradition of a Pakistani national from Pakistan then such extradition shall not be executed however, still the person could face the same criminal charges before his national courts.

One of the securities given by this treaty to the accused is that after executing an extradition he shall not face different criminal charges for a different case than the one he has been requested for unless he committed a new crime after the extradition was executed.

The extradition request from Pakistan to UAE and vice versa shall include a specific list of the documents otherwise it could get rejected. Such documents are listed in Article No. 07 of the treaty and most of these documents will be the proof of ID indicating precisely who this person is where he could be found and what the facts of the crime that he is accused of, the Articles of Law which criminalized the individual’s act, besides the Articles of the Law which indicates the time limitation rule for such accusation according to the national law, copy of any evidence to support the accusation against him, copy of the arrest warrant issued against him, if the extradition was based on a criminal judgment then the copy of the judgment would be requested to be provided.

If the arrest warrant was issued, then the receiving country shall arrest the person and such arrest shall be up to 2 months in most cases then they should request a copy of the above-mentioned documents and if these documents were received then the accused could be transferred to the criminal courts where the criminal courts have the right to accept the extradition or not.

If the criminal court decides to execute the extradition then the accused will be given 1 month to raise his petition to the Supreme Court and if the Supreme Court confirms the execution of the extradition request then the UAE will arrange for the possible way, time and location to execute the extradition and inform the Pakistani government about it.

Question: What would be the case if multiple extradition requests were received from different countries at the same time? Let’s assume we have a Pakistani national who is based here and two extradition requests were received, one from Pakistan and one from another country and both Pakistan and the other country sent all of the requirements as per the treaties with the UAE. In this case, shall he be extradited to his home country or the third country?

Answer: There is no certain answer to clarify this point. However, Article No. 10 of the treaty between UAE and Pakistan indicated that in such cases UAE would decide to choose the execution of one of these two requests taking into consideration the seriousness of the crime, the location of the execution of the crime, the dates of the requests, the nationality of the accused and the possibility of extraditing him from one country to the other after executing the first one.

Question: Who covers the extradition cost?

Answer: According to Article No. 15, the country requesting the extradition shall be the one to cover the extradition costs unless exceptional costs are expected and only in such cases the costs could be discussed between the parties.

Question: What happens after the extradition is executed and what are the obligations of the country requesting the extradition as per the treaty?

Answer: According to Article No. 15 of the treaty signed by UAE and Pakistan after the execution of the extradition, the country that submitted the extradition request shall update the country who executed the extradition request with the last update on the criminal investigation, and what was the final decision if the extradition was made based on a criminal complaint, but if the extradition request was made based on a criminal judgment made in absentia then they should provide copy of the final judgment after the retrial would be made based on the extradition process.

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