Zimbabwe and Russia sign extradition treaty

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THE government has gazetted an extradition treaty it signed with Russia last year to allow the two countries to bring back criminals to face justice in their respective jurisdictions, the Daily News reports.
According to the Government Gazette published at the weekend, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo gave notice of the treaty.

“Each party undertakes to extradite to the other on request, in accordance with the provisions of this treaty, persons for the purposes of prosecution or execution of a sentence for an extraditable crime,” the agreement reads.
Among the extraditable crimes include those that are punishable under the laws of both Zimbabwe and Russia by deprivation of liberty for a period of at least one year or by a more severe penalty.

“In case any such request for extradition is made in respect of any person, convicted in the territory of the requesting party for punishment in the form of imprisonment for committing a crime, which is subject to this
Treaty, such extradition may take place only if an unexpired term of punishment on the date of the decision of extradition is not less than six months.”

The treaty, however, allows for exceptional cases where the parties may agree upon extradition, if an unexpired term of punishment is less than six months.

“Where extradition of a person is requested for any crime against a law relating to taxation, customs and excise duties, foreign currency exchange control or any other fiscal matter, extradition may not be refused on the grounds
that the law of the requested party does not impose the same kind of tax or duty or does not contain a tax, duty, customs and excise or exchange regulation of the same kind as the law of the requesting party.

“If the request for extradition of a person refers to several offences each of which is punishable under the laws of both Parties, but some of which do not fulfill the other, the requested party may upon its discretion also grant
extradition in respect of these crimes.

“In case the qualification of the alleged act or omission changes in the course of the criminal prosecution, the extradited person may be brought to criminal liability or convicted to the extent to which such new qualification
corresponds to the conditions of extradition,” the agreement says further.

The agreement also provides that expenses connected with extradition of a person, prior to surrender of such person, shall be borne by the party which incurred them.

“Transportation expenses and any other costs, connected with transit transportation of the extradited person, as well as with surrender and return of any items, shall be borne by the requesting party.

“In case the costs which are connected with surrender of items have extraordinary character, the central authorities of the parties shall hold consultations for the purpose of their distribution”.

The two countries signed the agreement to provide for more effective cooperation between them in the prevention and punishment of crime.

“In determining whether an act or omission is a crime under the laws of both parties the difference in juridical
terminology shall not preclude the execution of the request for extradition in case the act or omission which served the reason for the request is a crime under the laws of both parties.

“Where the crime has been committed outside the territory of the requesting party, extradition shall be granted where the law of the requested party provides for the punishment of a crime committed outside its territory
in similar circumstances, where the law of the requested party does not so provide, the requested party may,
upon its discretion grant extradition,” the agreement says.

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