Sino-French extradition treaty begins operating

By Chen Heying Source:Global Times Published: 2015-7-18 0:33:01

An extradition treaty between China and France came into effect on Friday, expediting the arrests of fugitives suspected of corruption and advancing negotiation with other European countries over similar treaties, experts said.

The 23-article treaty covers issues such as extradition obligations, extraditable offenses, reasons that can and should be used to refuse extradition, property transfer, temporary custody and means of dispute settlement.

The treaty was signed in 2007. China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, ratified the treaty in 2008, while the French parliament did not approve it until April.

"The main obstacle was French lawmakers' concerns over the death penalty," Huang Feng, director of the Institute for International Criminal Law at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times.

Their concerns have been addressed by the French side being empowered to refuse extradition requests from China if the suspects face the death sentence back home, Huang explained.

"Other European countries, which have similar worries, are likely to be reassured and speed up negotiations with China," he said.

The treaties will simplify judicial procedures, such as shortening the reviewing process of evidence, and will speed up arrests of fugitives, including officials and individuals suspected of economic crimes, he added.

China has signed extradition treaties with some other developed countries including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Australia.

"In fact, other countries' hesitancy does harm to themselves," Huang said, citing a German national as an example.

The unnamed man was sentenced in 2014 in Xiamen, Fujian Province to death for killing his girlfriend and her new partner in 2010 in China.

"If Germany had signed an extradition treaty with China, it would have been possible to hand the right of jurisdiction over to Germany and for him to be tried there," Huang said.

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