Extradition between Germany
and Russia

Extradition between Germany and Russia

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Threatened extradition to a third country can mean more than the deprivation of liberty itself. In some cases, the concerned persons must also fear for their physical integrity, even their lives.

Schlun & Elseven is an internationally active law firm specialising, among other things, in representing clients in extradition proceedings. Our extradition lawyers have the necessary expertise and years of experience in dealing with Interpol and the extradition authorities to represent you with equal competence and commitment during this difficult time. We not only deal with clients who are to be extradited from or to Germany. We also take care of the cancellation of Interpol Red Notices, regardless of which country initiated them.

Between Germany and Russia, extraditions can be executed on a non-contractual basis according to the requirements of the respective general laws. In Germany, non-contractual extraditions are governed by the IRG, the Law on International Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

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Extradition of German Citizens to Russia

The German constitution protects German citizens against extradition to so-called third states, Article 16 (2) GG. Third countries are countries that do not belong to the European Union. Extraditing German citizens to other EU countries and certain international courts is permitted in cases where “the rule of law is observed”. This allowance for extradition to EU countries is a recent development, but it does not extend to other countries (“third countries”), including Russia. The German state will take over the prosecution in cases where extradition orders are placed on German citizens.

Extradition of non-German EU Citizens to Russia

Extraditions of EU citizens are possible and, according to the ECJ, do not violate the general prohibition of discrimination, Article 18 TFEU, or the free movement of persons within the EU, Article 21 TFEU. However, the Member State to which the person concerned belongs has a priority right to transfer and must therefore be informed before extradition.
This protection also extends to citizens of countries within the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and countries within the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) such as Iceland.

Removal of a Red Notice from Russia – Worldwide

If the Russian authorities obtain an Interpol Red Notice for a person, our team can challenge this ruling as a precautionary measure or when it becomes known. Our experienced lawyers for extradition law will submit requests for information to the respective National Central Bureaus (NCBs) of Interpol on your behalf, prepare and file corresponding protective letters and work unerringly towards the deletion of the Interpol Red Notice – so that you can once again move freely in the world without worrying about an imminent arrest and the associated consequences and risks.

Extradition Requirements under the IRG

Any foreigner who has committed a punishable crime abroad can, in principle, be extradited, Section 2 (3) IRG.

German extradition law offers the persons affected by extradition orders many legal possibilities to challenge the decision. In cases where a foreign state, e.g., Russia, submits an extradition request to Germany and the German authorities take the person in question into custody, the person can consent to simplified extradition under Section 41 IRG or challenge the decision.

The offence in question must constitute a criminal offence in both the requesting and the requested state. In Germany, the crime would have to be punishable by a maximum of at least 1-year imprisonment, Section 2 IRG.

Political or personal motives and military breaches of duty do not constitute admissible grounds for extradition, Section 6 and 7 IRG. A well-founded suspicion that the person concerned will be treated adversely in the requesting state due to personal characteristics also leads to the inadmissibility of extradition, Section 6 (2) IRG.

According to the principle of speciality in Section 11 IRG, the person concerned will not be extradited if they are also to be punished for other offences they have committed before transfer.

Further extradition, transfer, or deportation to a third state always requires the consent of the requested state, Section 11 IRG.

If the extradition request or the judicial admissibility decision should raise doubts about whether the abovementioned conditions are guaranteed and complied with, our lawyers will take the appropriate legal steps and exhaust all possibilities to prevent unlawful extradition.

Although political or military motives may not always be apparent, our lawyers can uncover evidence and such motivations through comprehensive research and expert analysis of the individual circumstances and the available evidence, which can prevent inadmissible extradition.

Should the extradition order or the court decision breach German law, our team will relentlessly pursue this case. We will follow all avenues available when challenging an extradition order.

Potential Problems of Extradition to Russia

Inhumane treatment:

There have been many criticisms of the prison conditions in Russia. Prisons often face chronic overcrowding and a lack of adequate sanitary facilities.

The European Convention on Human Rights and case law relating to European human rights show that a country attempting to extradite an accused person must first assess the risks of massive violations of rights to which the person might be exposed in the event of extradition. The German extradition law states that if there is a risk of torture or inhumane treatment/conditions of detention (Art. 1 GG, Art. 3 ECHR), then the extradition order will be deemed illegitimate.

Politically-motivated extradition:

In addition, allegations of political motives behind extradition requests have been raised frequently. The European Court of Human Rights has on several occasions criticised the excessive length of pre-trial detention and the conditions of such arrests in Russia.

As mentioned before, it is not always apparent that a case contains an element of political persecution. Our legal professionals are experienced at uncovering evidence of political or other motivations behind extradition cases (as seen in this case: “Removal of Interpol Red Notice: Successful Russian Case“).

Extradition cases are concerned with criminal offences and should never be based on political, religious or military reasons. Therefore, a sought extradition for prosecution or enforcement is inadmissible and must be refused by the requested state if based on such grounds.

Country List for Extradition – Worldwide

  • Worldwide advice and representation in extradition and Interpol proceedings with and without reference to Germany

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  • Worldwide network of experts in international extradition law

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