“Hong Kong silent so far on Edward Snowden extradition”

June 22, 2013

The Independent on June 22, 2013 released the following:

Associated Press

“Hong Kong has remained silent thus far on whether former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden should be extradited to the United States now that he has been charged with espionage, but some legislators said the decision should be up to the Chinese government.

Edward Snowden, believed to be holed up in Hong Kong, has admitted providing information to the news media about two highly classified NSA surveillance programs.

The Hong Kong government had no immediate reaction to the charges against Snowden. Police Commissioner, Andy Tsang, when was asked about the development, told reporters only that the case would be dealt with according to the law. A police statement said it was “inappropriate” for the police to comment on the case.

When China regained control of Hong Kong in 1997, the former British colony was granted a high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms not seen on mainland China. However, under the city’s mini constitution Beijing is allowed to intervene in matters involving defence and diplomatic affairs.

Outspoken legislator Leung Kwok-hung said Beijing should instruct Hong Kong to protect Snowden from extradition before his case gets dragged through the court system. Leung also urged the people of Hong Kong to “take to the streets to protect Snowden.”

Another legislator, Cyd Ho, vice-chairwoman of the pro-democracy Labour Party, said China “should now make its stance clear to the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) government” before the case goes before a court.

China has urged Washington to provide explanations following the disclosures of National Security Agency programs which collect millions of telephone records and track foreign Internet activity on US networks, but it has not commented on Snowden’s status in Hong Kong.

A formal extradition request, which could drag through appeal courts for years, would pit Beijing against Washington at a time China tries to deflect US accusations that it carries out extensive surveillance on American government and commercial operations.

Snowden’s whereabouts have not been publicly known since he checked out of a Hong Kong hotel on June 10. He said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that he hoped to stay in the autonomous region of China because he has faith in “the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate.” Tsang said in interview broadcast on local television that he could not comment when asked about a local newspaper report that Snowden was in a police “safe house.”

Snowden and his supporters have also spoken of his seeking asylum from Iceland.

A prominent former politician in Hong Kong, Martin Lee, the founding chairman of the Democratic Party, said he doubted whether Beijing would intervene at this stage.

“Beijing would only intervene according to my understanding at the last stage. If the magistrate said there is enough to extradite, then Mr. Snowden can then appeal,” he said.

Lee said Beijing could then decide at the end of the appeal process if it wanted Snowden extradited or not.

The process could become a prolonged legal battle, with Snowden contesting extradition on grounds of political persecution.

Hong Kong lawyer Mark Sutherland said that the filing of a refugee, torture or inhuman punishment claim acts as an automatic bar on any extradition proceedings until those claims can be assessed.

“Some asylum seekers came to Hong Kong 10 years ago and still haven’t had their protection claims assessed,” Sutherland said.”

As International Extradition Lawyer Douglas C. McNabb predicted, the U.S. has charged Mr. Snowden in a Federal Criminal Complaint. He was charged on June 14, 2013 with the following federal crimes:

  • 18 USC 641 – Theft of Government Property
  • 18 USC 793(d) – Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information
  • 18 USC 798(a)(3) – Willful Communication of Classified Communications Intelligence Information to an Unauthorized Person

A copy of the Snowden Federal Criminal Complaint may be found here.

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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“Snowden extradition battle in Hong Kong could go on for years”

June 22, 2013

Reuters on June 22, 2013 released the following:

“By James Pomfret

(Reuters) – A former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor charged with spying by the United States and in hiding in Hong Kong is expected to be the subject of a formal extradition request at any time in what could drag into a legal battle lasting years.

Since making his revelations about massive U.S. surveillance programs, legal sources in Hong Kong say Edward Snowden, 30, has sought legal representation from human rights lawyers as he prepares to fight U.S. attempts to force him home for trial.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges coming under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The United States and Hong Kong signed an extradition treaty which came into effect in 1998, a year after Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule. Scores of Americans have been sent back home for trial since then.

While espionage and theft of state secrets are not cited specifically in the treaty, equivalent charges could be pressed against Snowden under Hong Kong’s Official Secrets Ordinance, legal experts said.

If Hong Kong authorities did not charge Snowden with an equivalent crime, authorities could not extradite him, lawyers said. In the absence of charges, Snowden was also theoretically free to leave the city, one legal expert said.

Simon Young, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said that while the first charge involving theft might readily find equivalence in Hong Kong, the latter two spying offences will likely attract “litigation and dispute” in the courts.

The timeframe for such proceedings remains unclear, but Hectar Pun, a lawyer with human rights expertise, was quoted as saying such an extradition could take three to five years.

Under Hong Kong’s extradition mechanism, a request first goes through diplomatic channels to Hong Kong’s leader, who decides whether to issue an “authority to proceed”. If granted, a magistrate issues a formal warrant for the arrest of Snowden.

Once brought before the court, the judge would decide whether there was sufficient evidence to commit Snowden to trial or dismiss the case, though any decision could be appealed in a higher court.

Snowden could claim political asylum in Hong Kong, arguing he would face torture back home. Article six of the treaty states extradition should be refused for “an offence of a political character”.

“The unfairness of his trial at home and his likely treatment in custody” were important factors to consider for Snowden, said Young, the law professor, on Snowden’s chances of claiming political immunity from extradition.

Should a Hong Kong court eventually call for Snowden’s extradition, Hong Kong’s leader and China could, however, still veto the decision on national security or defense grounds.

Snowden has admitted leaking secrets about classified U.S. surveillance programs, which he said he did in the public interest. Supporters say he is a whistleblower, while critics call him a criminal and perhaps even a traitor.”

As International Extradition Lawyer Douglas McNabb predicted, the U.S. has charged Mr. Snowden in a Federal Criminal Complaint. He was charged on June 14, 2013 with the following federal crimes:

  • 18 USC 641 – Theft of Government Property
  • 18 USC 793(d) – Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information
  • 18 USC 798(a)(3) – Willful Communication of Classified Communications Intelligence Information to an Unauthorized Person

A copy of the Snowden Federal Criminal Complaint may be found here.

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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U.S. asks Iraq to extradite Hezbollah suspect

June 4, 2012

The West Australian on June 2, 2012 released the following:

“Phil Stewart, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has formally asked Iraq to extradite a suspected Hezbollah operative accused of killing American troops, a U.S. official told Reuters, amid heightened concerns in Washington that he may go free.

It was not immediately clear when the request was filed and Iraqi officials approached by Reuters denied knowledge of it, casting doubt on whether an extradition was seriously being considered at this point in Baghdad.

The fate of Ali Mussa Daqduq has been vexing American officials since last December, when the United States was forced to hand him over to Baghdad after failing to secure a custody deal ahead of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country.

At the time, the White House said it had received assurances from Baghdad that Daqduq would be tried for allegedly orchestrating a 2007 kidnapping that resulted in the killing of five U.S. military personnel. But an Iraqi court earlier this month cleared him of the charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Daqduq’s attorney confirmed that the Lebanese-born suspect remained in Iraqi custody but scoffed at the suggestion that Daqduq might face American courts.

“The Americans have no right to get him,” Abdulalmehdi al-Mutiri, Daqduq’s lawyer, told Reuters. “Whatever they claim that he did, it would have happened on Iraqi soil and that means he is under Iraqi jurisdiction.”

Indeed, there are real questions about whether Iraq – which previously shunned U.S. efforts to retain custody of Daqduq – would respond positively to an extradition request.

The White House declined comment on whether any request had been made but President Barack Obama’s government has said it will pursue all legal options to bring justice to Daqduq.

REPUBLICAN CRITICISM

Republicans have sharply criticized Obama’s handling of the case. In a May 10 letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked whether any formal extradition request had been made for Daqduq, who was born in Lebanon.

“The U.S. has filed a formal extradition request” with the Iraqi government, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s media advisor Ali al-Moussawi said he was unaware of any extradition request for Daqduq and declined to be drawn into what he saw as a hypothetical question about how the Iraqi government would respond to one.

Asked about the possibility Daqduq might soon go free, the U.S. official confirmed: “That’s a real worry.”

Daqduq was captured in March 2007 and initially claimed he was a deaf mute. U.S. forces accused him of being a surrogate for Iran’s elite Quds force operatives and say he joined the Lebanese Hezbollah in 1983.

Daqduq’s attorney said a representative of Hezbollah had come to Iraq but left “because he felt he could not do anything more.”

“But legally Daqduq is clear, there are no charges against him,” Mutiri said.

If Daqduq were extradited, he would face charges for war crimes. A second U.S. official confirmed that charges filed against Daqduq in the U.S. military commissions system earlier this year included murder, attempted murder, attempted taking of hostages, spying, and terrorism.

It was not immediately clear where the U.S. military commission trial for Daqduq would be held if he were ultimately extradited. But Panetta last year told Congress that Daqduq would face “better justice” if tried by the United States.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said last month his department would be “willing and able” to cooperate with a military commission trial if the U.S. wins custody of Daqduq.

“In the meantime, however, we have cooperated with the Iraqi authorities in providing intelligence and information for their proceedings in Iraq,” Mueller told Congress.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Iraq here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


Peru Approves First Step Toward Extradition Of Joran Van Der Sloot

April 24, 2012

TheBostonChannel.com on April 23, 2012 released the following:

“From Mayra Cuevas InSession

(CNN) — The process to extradite Joran van der Sloot from Peru to the United States to face criminal charges has begun, according to Maximo Altez, van der Sloot’s Peruvian attorney.

Peruvian judges in January sentenced the Dutchman to 28 years in prison for the murder in 2010 of Stephany Flores. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of American Natalee Holloway. U.S. authorities want to try van der Sloot on charges of extortion and wire fraud in the Holloway case.

According to court documents obtained through Altez, a Peruvian judge has approved a U.S. request for provisional detention. This is the first step in the extradition process between Peru and the United States. The document says a formal extradition request has yet to be submitted, but will follow.

The document names the U.S. Embassy as a party in the proceedings. InSession reached out Monday for comment but did not receive a response. The Peruvian Justice Ministry also did not return a request for comment.

The only hold-up to the extradition is van der Sloot’s appeal, which should be finished in about a month, Altez said.

“I think he will be extradited within the next three months,” said Altez. “He will go to trial in the United States. Once he is sentenced, he will return to Peru to finish serving his 28 years, and then go back to the States to serve whatever sentence he gets there.”

In June 2010, a federal grand jury in Alabama indicted him after allegations that he tried to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway. Van der Sloot offered to provide what turned out to be bogus information about the whereabouts of Holloway’s remains in exchange for the money, according to the indictment.

He was allegedly given $25,000, which authorities say he used to travel to Peru for a poker tournament.

If found guilty of extortion, he could be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores, 21, in his Lima hotel room. The judges gave him a sentence two years short of the 30-year maximum. They ordered he be expelled from Peru at the end of his sentence and required him to pay about $74,500 in reparations to Flores’ relatives.

Van der Sloot confessed to robbery in addition to murder, admitting that he stole Flores’ belongings, including more than $300 in local currency, credit cards and the victim’s van as a means to leave the country. He fled to Chile and was arrested a few days later.

Another van der Sloot attorney, Jose Luis Jimenez, said his client was under special stress the day of the 2010 murder, which marked five years after Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama, disappeared while vacationing on Aruba.

Van der Sloot, who was among the last people seen with Holloway, was detained twice but has not been charged in the case.

“The world had been against him for five years before this case, for a murder he said he never committed and for which there is no evidence whatsoever,” Jimenez said.

Investigators have said they believe van der Sloot killed Flores after she found something related to the Holloway case on his computer while visiting him in his hotel room. The two met while van der Sloot was in town for the poker tournament.

Judges described how Flores hit van der Sloot in the face after reading the item on Holloway, leading him to hit her in the face with his elbow. Flores fainted and van der Sloot tried to strangle her, but she was still breathing, so he suffocated her with his shirt.

Van der Sloot then tried to clean the room by removing the sheets and changing his bloodied shirt, they said.

He was caught in a taxi near the Chilean central coastal city of Vina del Mar.

Holloway’s body has not been found, and no one has been charged in relation to the case in Aruba.

About 6½ years after Holloway went missing in May 2005, Alabama Probate Judge Alan King signed an order declaring the teenager legally dead.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Peru here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.