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No extradition treaty? Here's why you should still petition for a Red Notice removal.

by Isabel Alcántara, Esq.

Extradition treaties, not Red Notices themselves, form the basis of extradition law. Not every request for extradition is granted. If an INTERPOL member country requests the extradition of a subject from a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the requesting country, the extradition request will likely fail. There may be a treaty for extraditon between the two countries, but the treaty may place limitations on the circumstances under which extradition would be granted.

Red Notice subjects have been known to flee to countries that do not have an extradition treaty with the country that issued the Red Notice against them. However, that solution may have an expiration date. Just because two countries do not have an agreement in place now, doesn't mean they won't ratify an extradition treaty tomorrow.

As an example, the Gupta brothers were accused of diverting state funds to Gupta-controlled companies and South Africa has been seeking Guptas' extradition from the UAE since 2018. In 2019, the U.S. sanctioned the Gupta brothers stating that they were members of a "signficant corruption" network in South Africa. The UAE and South Africa did not have an extradition treaty in place when the brothers initially moved to the UAE, but in June 2021, the UAE and South Africa ratified the treaty on extradition and mutual legal assistance. This ratification served as the basis for South Africa's request for the extradition of the Gupta brothers from South Africa.

The Red Notice that was recently issued against the Gupta brothers is not a grant for their extradition, but the Red Notice's issuance does strengthen South Africa's case as the country engages in extradition proceedings. If INTERPOL removes or deletes the Red Notice from its databases, South Africa's case for extradition would be weakened because its removal from INTERPOL's databases would signify that the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files found that the circumstances under which the Red Notice was issued violate human rights or INTERPOL's rules, and/or constitution.

If someone is subject to a Red Notice, but they are residing in a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the requesting INTERPOL member country, they should act before the two countries form an agreement. Contact Alcantara Law to discuss your matter with Isabel Alcántara, an attorney that has experience in contributing to Red Notice removal requests that have led to INTERPOL's deletion of Red Notices from their databases.

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