Non-Extradition Countries?

I was watching a movie tonight and the “bad guys” were talking about escaping to a non-extradition country.

This piqued my curiosity, so I went to my computer and surfed around, but I didn’t find anything clear enough to my liking.

Exactly which countries do not have extradition treaties with the U.S.? And what about France and other countries who will not extradite someone who might get the death penalty? Will they extradite someone on a guarantee that the prosecution will not seek death? Will they extradite for lesser crimes?

Basically - if you commit a crime in the United States, where can you run so that you will not get turned over?

— Peter Wiggen

If they want you bad enough, try antarctica (or maybe afghanistan).

I believe Brazil and Argentina were previous refuges, but I doubt any bank robbers could expect asylum there now.

Here is a source of Extradition Treaties by Country, so you can research specifically where you want to escape to:

The French “no death penalty” situation is interesting. (It’s probably the same in many other countries, I just happen to know people who have dealt with the French situation.) When a fugitive is located in France, US diplomatic people have to negotiate with the authorities and the fugitive and try to convince the French that a binding agreement to not seek the death penalty has been reached. Since the fugitive has not been officially arrested and charged, in many cases they stay free and in public.

Most extradition treaties have very complicated conditions for extradition which is why “bounty hunters” sometimes get involved.

None of the members of the European charter of human rights would extradite anyone who could face death penalty. Atleast England has extradited a (serial?)murderer under the condition that he could not be executed and I think all of countries which have ratified the charter would do the same.

Yes. It happens from time to time. By the way, beside the fact that most european countries won’t extradite someone facing the death penalty, Portugal won’t even extradite people facing a life sentence since it doesn’t exist in this country (the maximal sentence being 30 years, there).


Yes. But there are other cases when France won’t extradite someone :

-More generally than only the death sentence, when the penalty the person is facing doesn’t exist/ is considered barbaric in France (say amputation or forced labor)

  • When the person has been tried “in absenstia” (wasn’t present during his trial because he fled or for some other reason) unless he’s guaranteed a new trial.

-When whatever the person is accused of isn’t deemed a crime under french law

-When the person is a french citizen

-When the french courts are competent for the case (when the criminal or the victim is french, or when the crime has been commited on the french territory, mainly)

-Often (but not in all cases, I don’t know the details) when the crime is political

-When the person is a political refugee and the extradition is requested by the country he came from

-Of course when the accused isn’t guaranteed a fair trial
Finally, AFAIK (I’m not absolutely sure), the minister of justice can always refuse an extradition, for any reason, even when the courts allow it.

Antarctica seems like a distinctly bad idea. Your only hope here would be to remain in hiding. Since we’re talking about extradition, the assumption is that they know where you are. In the absence of a government to block it, American law enforcement can easily come and seize you.

You could seek refuge at a foreign base, but these are generally governed by the laws of their countries, so there’s no point freezing your butt off if you can go to the actual country.

Afghanistan, or Somalia, or any other failed state, is more promising. If you can gain favor with a local warlord, you’ll be relatively secure. Of course, warlords tend to be more susceptible to bribery than your average nation-state. Also, you’d better hope your warlord patron doesn’t suffer a heart attack or an untimely “accident” while out riding, as the successor may decide you’re the perfect card to play to curry favor with Washington.

Another non-extradition country is Northern Cyprus ( the Turkish half ) . Because it is not recognised as a proper country by any state ( apart from Turkey ) the normal rules of extradition do not apply . Because of this there are some crooks on the run from British justice who are now living there.

Yes indeed and one of those crooks is my next-door neighbour out there:eek: Meaning our house appeared on an episode of ‘Kenyon Confronts’.

To put a twist on this thread… Suppose we agree not to impose the death penalty and then when we get him over here we do it anyway. What then?

Then, in return for executing one prisoner, the country that pulled this trick will find that extradiction has become significantly harder, because not only the country affected but every other country that will not extradict a prisoner facing the death penalty will remember the incident and use it as an argument against extradiction for some time to come. A more immediate result will be a major diplomatic spat, coupled with damage to that country’s image abroad.

But yeah, they’ll get to execute the guy, if that’s so important.

Yes, every time the US would seek extraditon in future someone accused of a capital offense could argue that extraditing would be in violation of his right to life guarenteed by the European charter of human rights which could make extraditon for capital offenses next to impossible.