extradition to United Arab Emirates UAE

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There is no extradition treaty for extradition from Germany to the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujaira, Ras al Chaima, Sharjah and Umm al Kaiwan), but extradition to the United Arab Emirates UAE would be possible on an individual basis, if extradition requests are sent through diplomatic channels.

No extradition treaty with United Arab Emirates UAE

If extradition to the United Arab Emirates appears possible within a reasonable time in a specific case, provisional extradition detention can be ordered in Germany against the person persecuted. The United Arab Emirates is a member of Interpol.

The United Arab Emirates UAE is considered by some as the perfect holiday destination with idyllic beaches, luxurious shopping centres and lively nightclubs. Although the UAE as a federation of seven autonomous emirates has a reputation as relatively relaxed and moderate Islamic countries, police violence and racism are also reported there. In recent years in particular, high prison sentences have been imposed on critical journalists and bloggers for allegations such as: Publication of information with the aim of inciting hatred against the state and disturbing public order; mocking and damaging the reputation of state institutions; publication of false information with the intention of disturbing state relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, etc..

We have our own experiences...

The public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt/Main has refused extradition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in two of our cases and released the persecuted men from custody. In the first case (2 AuslA 182/17) we proved that the alleged cheque fraud is inconclusive and the person was released from custody on 4 August 2017. In the second case (2 AuslA 206/17), the UAE itself withdrew its extradition request on 24 August 2017.

Extradition requests from the UAE are frequently based on accusations of cheque fraud, although - it seems - cheque fraud is understood very differently in the UAE than in the rest of the world. What the United Arab Emirates UAE prosecutes as cheque fraud is by no means always clearly a criminal offence.

While German law enforcement authorities have not often been confronted with extradition requests from the United Arab Emirates UAE, the practice in other countries - especially in England - is already well advanced. In particular, extradition requests for alleged cheque fraud have already been repeatedly rejected by the courts there.

The English have practice in this...

Among other things, the Westminster Magistrates Court refused extradition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2015. Here, too, the accusation of cheque fraud was raised. Following a hearing of experts, the court based its refusal of extradition on the expected treatment of the persecuted person in the UAE in violation of human rights. Improvements in the legal situation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that have since been noted have been taken into account, but the experts heard by the court (Mcgeehan/Davidson) have stated that these reforms have not yet reached the daily practice of the courts, the police and the prison system.

In at least one case known to me, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) filed an appeal in England against a negative extradition decision to the High Court of Justice (Aministrative Court) in London, which however dismissed the appeal in June 2012. This decision is particularly instructive because it explains in detail the practice of cheque law in the UAE, which is still little known in German courts.

In England, the 2008 "Lodhi" ruling of the High Court of Justice is still the yardstick when the protection of human rights is at stake in extradition proceedings. In the "Lodhi vs. Secretary Of State For The Home Department" case, conversely, the persecuted had challenged an extradition decision and brought it before the High Coutrs of Justice (Aministrative Court) in London, which ruled in his favor and refused extradition of the persecuted person to the UAE.

In Spain, in 2015, in a completely different case, the Supreme Court decided to extradite a persecuted man to the UAE who was accused of participating in a robbery of a jeweller with millions in 2007 as a member of the "Pink Panther Gang" in Dubai.

In Italy, the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused extradition to the UAE, explaining in Decision No. 17172 (Cassazione penale, sez. VI., 30/03/2016 ud 30/03/2016, dep. 26/04/2016) that not everything that is prosecuted as cheque fraud in the UAE is in fact a fraud according to Italian standards.

In another Italian case, the Milan Court of Appeal referred to the 2015 United Nations "Report...... on the independence of Judges and Lawyers" for refusing extradition to the UAE. In the reasons for the decision it was emphasised that the report found trends in the UAE which clearly had a negative impact on extradition capacity, namely deficits in the granting of human rights and a lack of trustworthiness of jurisdiction.

Since 2014, the NGO "Fairtrials International" has been publicly engaged with Interpol on extradition requests from the UAE for alleged cheque fraud and claims that Interpol could be abused by the UAE in these cases. In particular, the UAE would abuse Interpol in civil law cases of outstanding debts or unsecured cheques to arrest the debtor.

The "Commission for the Controll of Interpole`s Files" is quite willing to take a differentiated view and in a decision available to me e.g. in March 2017 in a case of alleged cheque fraud recommended to delete an international arrest warrant of the UAE from Interpol`s lists. This was justified by the commercial (and not criminal) nature of the case and the lack of information on the part of the UAE despite a corresponding request.

In 2016, Amnesty International also reports torture and imprisonment by authorities that keep a person's fate or place of detention secret and thus deprive them of protection by law. The reports on detention conditions in the UAE are contradictory. Belgian journalist Jan De Cock has reported on prisons with air conditioning and a relaxed atmosphere, while other Europeans have described prison stays in Dubai as "hell". There were also accusations of torture methods in the UAE, ranging from sleep deprivation to beatings and electric shocks. In addition, prisoners report that they have been exposed to extreme temperatures and constant glare and have been threatened with rape and death. In any case of an extradition request from the UAE, in addition to the conditions of detention - without the list being conclusive - the questions of double criminality, the level of the threat of punishment in relation to the charges raised, the conditions of detention and treatment at police stations and the judicial formality of criminal proceedings will have to be dealt with.

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