What is Extradition?

The term extradition refers to the submission of a criminal on the run to the legal system of another country for judicial proceedings. Thailand has agreements with around fourteen countries for the extradition of criminals and fugitives: UK, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Belgium, South Korea, Laos, Cambodia, China, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Fiji and Australia,

Extradition process in Thailand follows the guidelines put in place in the extradition act of 2551. In addition, it may have different implications based on international treaties in place between Thailand and the international community.

In most cases, the extradition proceedings is implemented, if a person is suspected of commiting a serious crime which has resulted in being charged for jail time of more than one year or if the individual faces death penalty inside the other country’s judicial system. With that being said, there are cases of extradition treaties between Thailand and other countries that would be applied to less severe crimes which would also result in extradition proceedings to take place.

In order for the extradition request to be followed up by Thailand, certain criteria have to be met:

  • Political crimes are not accepted for extradition from Thailand.
  • The crimes committed shall not be evaluated solely for military reasons
  • The extradition process is not violating any laws in place in the kingdom
  • Not final ruling in that country determines the individual innocent
  • The individual is not qualified for amnesty
  • The individual has not served jail time or experienced punishment for the committed crime in the requesting country
  • The individual has not been prohibited from prosecution in one way or another

In the case that a foreign government aims to request extradition of an individual in Thailand, the only person qualified to make the judgment is Thailand’s Attorney General. In addition, there has to be an arrest warrant from the country submitting the request that explains in detail the crimes committed by the individual under scrutiny, all the details surrounding the crime, the utmost punishment in place in the requesting country, any extra information that would help Thailand’s juristical system to properly identify and to make sure that the wanted person is in fact the person being looked for within Thailand, and any other possible information that would help with finding out the location of the individual.

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