David Coleman Headley has escaped extradition to India by entering into a plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors. Amongst his crimes are plotting and training the terrorists for the Mumbai, India attacks, as well as plotting to attack a Danish newspaper who published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. As part of his plea bargain Headley negotiated terms with the U.S. to avoid extradition to India, Pakistan or Denmark where cases against him are being investigated. Pursuant to these terms, the U.S. government is denying his extradition to India, despite extradition requests from the Indian government.
An international extradition treaty between India and the U.S. has been in effect since June 25, 1997. That treaty allows for the extradition of an individual charged with a crime in one country, if the same activity constitutes a crime punishable in the requested state. Moreover, the U.S. entered into a Bilateral Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (“MLAT”) with India on October 17, 2001. This MLAT provides that the two countries provide assistance in investigations and prosecutions of crimes involving the two countries to each other.
Furthermore, some Indian authorities are citing that the U.S. is obligated to extradite Headly based on their membership in the International Convention for Suppression of Terrorist Bombings which has been adopted by the United Nations. Article 7 of that convention states, “Upon being satisfied that the circumstances so warrant, the state party in whose territory the offender or alleged offender is present shall take the appropriate measures under its domestic law so as to ensure that person’s presence for the purpose of prosecution or extradition.” Moreover, Article 8 states that, “The state party in the territory of which the alleged offender is present shall, in cases to which Article 6 applies, if it does not extradite that person, be obliged, without exception whatsoever and whether or not the offence was committed in its territory, to submit the case without undue delay to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution, through proceedings in accordance with the laws of that state.”
Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.
The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at one of the offices listed above.