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163 extradition requests submitted this year

Emiratis who commit major crimes abroad will be tried in UAE courts

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: This year has seen 163 requests for extradition, which were submitted from a variety of countries to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for people accused of crimes such as murder and money laundering, experts in the capital announced on Monday.

These findings were revealed during the first International Judicial Cooperation Conference, which brought together legal professionals from the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and all GCC countries.

During the event, Chancellor Abdul Rahman Murad Al Balushi, Director of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice said: “We currently have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with 123 countries which we are cooperating with in exchanging extradition request and requests for judicial assistance among other issues. We have therefore successfully handed over 31 suspects in 2013.”

The MoUs signed include tackling organised crime, money laundering and corruption.

“If an Emirati committed any of these felonies abroad, and the act was recognised as a dangerous crime in both the UAE and the foreign country, then he or she will be tried according to UAE law,” Al Balushi told Gulf News.

Some requests for extradition and handovers have been refused because they do not meet some of the requirements such as sufficient legal grounds.

“The Public Prosecution cannot and will not hold a suspect in detainment for more than the permissible legal duration if his extradition request does not contain sufficient legal grounds on which to base this imprisonment on. Individuals have their own freedoms that are respected under UAE law,” the expert added.

If any members of the public believe that a person they know may be involved in dangerous criminal activity abroad, they can contact police authorities and provide them with the information they have.