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Legal comments based on our experience in Extradition proceedings in Thailand H&P Extradition in Thailand Law firm for criminal law

H&P lawyers in Bangkok have been involved in extradition and criminal proceedings involving different countries during 2018.

By definition: Extradition is the official request made by a country, territory or international organization for the surrender of someone accused or convicted of a crime, that is residing or staying in another country or state.

Based on our experience, extraditions proceedings in Thailand are highly complex. Our Thai lawyers and Foreign Legal consultants in Bangkok usually find that some people might have no idea there is a warrant for their arrest. Therefore, there are some key things you need to do when you are arrested in Thailand in an extradition proceeding:

The first thing is you should request a lawyer and request an interpreter (in case you can’t understand what the charges the police are presenting against you). Based on Thai Law, you are entitled to meet with and get advice from a lawyer. If you are not informed of your rights, you should remain silent until you meet and consult with your Thai lawyer. In addition, you should not sign any documents although you can read it or you have an interpreter because you may not fully understand the legal issues. We often see that our clients sign documents related to the extradition that are against their interests due to the fact that there was no lawyer assisting them.

In the process of extradition in Thailand, you will be brought to the public prosecutor for the filing of a petition with the court. The petition is to order your detention while awaiting a formal extradition request, together with accompanying documents and evidence from the requesting Authorities. During custody, the public prosecutor or the police will interrogate you and look for you consent or not to the extradition. If you decide to consent the extradition, such consent shall be prepared in writing according to the form stipulated by the Central Authority. The public prosecutor shall then bring you to the court by filing a petition with the attachment of your consent for prompt examination.

The public prosecutor might take you to the court within a few days after getting arrested. Before a court trial, if you cannot afford a lawyer, you need to ask the court to appoint a lawyer for you and postpone the court hearing date until a lawyer is appointed because the court would inquire again whether you decide to consent voluntarily. If the court is of the opinion that you have given consent voluntarily, the court shall make an order to detain you for extradition, so you should not give a consent if this is against your interests.

As a general rule, f your consent is given in the presence of the court, it can’t be revoked later. Therefore, it is essential for you to understand what you should do after getting arrested for an extradition case.

In a general criminal lawsuit, you have the legal right to request for bail and the court has the discretion on whether bail should be granted or not. According to the Extradition Act, a bail application would be considered based on the public prosecutor’s opposition to bail.

One important legal aspect is to review the offenceses that the requesting authority has accused you for extradition from Thailand.

It is possible that you still don’t know exactly the offenses at the time of the arrest, but you will know when the public prosecutor interrogates and inquire whether you agree consent to the extradition. Based on our law, extradition shall not be granted if the offence for which extradition is requested is a political or military offence. Moreover, the offence shall be an extraditable offence if it is punishable under the laws of the requested state or the statute of limitations never lapses.

Finally, we would like to emphasize the importance to engage a professional lawyer team (Thai and Foreigner) to assist you at all kind of extradition proceedings as all the documents to be submitted and the role of the public prosecutor are important and complicated.

If you need assistance and lawyer representation in an extradition proceeding please contact our Bangkok lawyers specialized in extraditions at [email protected]

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