Lawyers with expertise in extradition from Spain.

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Extradition is a legal procedure that refers to handing over a person accused or convicted of committing a crime, from one State to another State that demands it so that he/she can be prosecuted or serve the sentence that has been imposed on him/her.

In the Spanish Constitution, Article 13.3 states that extradition shall be granted only in compliance with a treaty or with the law, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.

There are 2 types of extradition:

Active extradition

We are talking about active extradition when one State requests another State to deliver a person responsible for an offence. The request is addressed to the Government so that the latter can order the extradition of those convicted in final judgement, where this is appropriate in accordance with law. Active extradition proceedings are regulated by the Spanish Criminal Procedure Act, Articles 824 to 833.

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The circumstances under which extradition may be requested or proposed are the following:

  • The extradition of Spanish nationals who, having committed a crime in Spain, have taken refuge in a foreign country.
  • The extradition of Spanish nationals who, having attacked State external security from abroad, have taken refuge in a country other than that of the offence.
  • The extradition of foreigners who are to be tried in Spain and have taken refuge in a state other than their own.
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Passive extradition

We are talking about passive extradition when a State delivers the offender or alleged offender to the country that requested it.

The necessary requirements for passive extradition are divided into three groups: objective requirements, subjective requirements and procedural requirements.

LEX DIXITLawyers with expertise in Extradition from Spain

We provide our service quickly and efficiently, anticipating any possible eventualities.

We protect our clients from preventive detention, by providing them with advice and demonstrating their commitment to Spanish society (known as arraigo).

We provide the service quickly and efficiently, anticipating any eventualities that may arise.

We prevent our clients from being remanded in custody by advising them and demonstrating that they are rooted in Spanish society.

Detention for extradition in Spain

We provide services throughout Spain and we deploy immediately at the moment of arrest. We develop legal defence strategies that have helped us to avoid the extradition of numerous people detained in Spain.

Objective requirements for extradition:

  • PRINCIPLE OF LEGALITY:

the reasons for extradition must be provided for in agreements or laws.

  • PRINCIPLE OF DOUBLE CRIMINALITY:

the alleged offence committed by the person must be established as a crime in both the requesting country and the requested country.

  • PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALITY:

the country must penalize the specific offence for which the extradition is requested, not the previous and different punishable acts. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:

    • Consent of the requested State, in which case it is obligatory the formulation of an extension of extradition
    • Consent of the person surrendered, expressed either tacitly or explicitly.
  • EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN OFFENCES BY REASON OF THEIR NATURE:

political, military and fiscal offences (except for excise, VAT and customs offences).

  • EXTINGUISHMENT OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY:

extradition is made dependent on the non-extinguishment of the criminal liability for the crime.

  • PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY:

mutual treatment between States (art. 13.3 of the Spanish Constitution).

Subjective requirements of the extradition procedure:

  • NATIONALITY:

countries have the possibility to refuse extradition of their nationals.

  • MINOR AGE:

a person under 18 years old who habitually resides in Spain could be refused extradition.

  • ASYLUM:

extradition will not be granted when the person is recognised with asylum status.

Procedural requirements in extradition cases:

  • JURISDICTION OF THE REQUESTED STATE:

extradition will not be granted if the offence falls within the jurisdiction of the Spanish courts.

  • NATURE OF THE COMPETENT COURT:

extradition will not be granted when the requested person is to be judged by a court of exception.

  • PRINCIPLE OF NON BIS IN IDEM:

extradition cannot be granted when the person has already been prosecuted or is being prosecuted in Spain.

  • CONVICTION IN ABSENTIA:

a State may refuse a request for extradition to enforce a sentence if it does not respect the minimum defence rights of an accused person.

  • PROSECUTION AT THE REQUEST OF A PARTY:

extradition shall not be granted for offences that are prosecutable only at the request of a party, except for the offences of rape, statutory rape, abduction or indecent assault.

El procedimiento comienza con la solicitud extradicional, que debe contener (i) los elementos de identificación del reclamado, (ii) la concreción de la conducta que motiva la solicitud y su tipificación, así como (iii) la existencia de una imputación formalizada en el Estado requirente.

La solicitud se formalizará por vía diplomática o directamente por escrito del Ministerio de Justicia de la parte requirente al Ministerio de Justicia español.

A esta solicitud deberán acompañarse los siguientes documentos, a saber:

  • La sentencia condenatoria o el auto de procesamiento y prisión o resolución análoga según la legislación del país requirente con expresión sumaria de los hechos y lugar y fecha en que fueron realizados.
  • Cuantos datos sean conocidos sobre la identidad, nacionalidad y residencia del sujeto reclamado y, a ser posible, su fotografía y huellas dactilares.
  • Copia de los textos legales con expresión de la pena aplicable.
  • Si el hecho estuviere castigado con alguna pena que atente a la integridad corporal o a tratos inhumanos o degradantes, el Estado requirente dará seguridades, suficientes a juicio del Gobierno español, de que tales penas no serán ejecutadas.

Cuando la solicitud se hubiera formulado por vía diplomática, el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores remitirá al de Justicia la solicitud de extradición con expresión de la fecha en que se hubiere recibido, quien elevará al Gobierno una propuesta motivada sobre si ha lugar o no a continuar en vía judicial el procedimiento de extradición.

Si el Gobierno acordara la continuación del procedimiento en vía judicial, remitirá el expediente al Juzgado Central de Instrucción, el cual ordenará la inmediata comparecencia del reclamado, asistido de abogado y, en su caso, de intérprete, cuyo objeto es triple:

  • Que el reclamado manifieste si consiente la extradición o quiere oponerse a ella.
  • Se preguntará al reclamado si renuncia o no al principio de especialidad.
  • Se determinará la situación personal del reclamado.

Posteriormente, sigue una fase intermedia, en la cual el Tribunal pondrá de manifiesto el expediente al Ministerio Fiscal y a la defensa de forma sucesiva. El Fiscal realiza un escrito en el que se hacen constar los antecedentes procesales de la reclamación, la identidad del sujeto reclamado, si consiente o no la extradición y si ha renunciado al principio de especialidad. Seguidamente, detalla los hechos que motivan la petición, la calificación jurídica conforme a la legislación del Estado requirente y requerido y la concurrencia o no de las cuestiones que impiden o justifican la petición, oponiéndose o no a ella.

Por su parte, la defensa puede formular su escrito en los términos que considere conveniente, dado que la Ley no fija la manera de hacerlo.

Acto seguido se celebra Vista ante la Sala de lo Penal de la Audiencia Nacional, en la que intervendrán el Ministerio Fiscal, el reclamado, su defensa y la representación del Estado requirente. Tras la Vista, el Tribunal resolverá por medio de Auto motivado sobre la procedencia de la extradición.

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