Court rejects extradition request from Thailand

Higher Regional Court Cologne, Court's Order of 15.07.2016 – 2 Ws 632/16 no extradition to Thailand

Cologne, July 15, 2016 – The Higher Regional Court of Cologne (6 AuslA 23/16 - 16) released our Belgian client from custody and rejected a request from the Thai authorities for his extradition. The Thai law enforcement authorities had requested his extradition to face prosecution.

A request for extradition from Thailand drives cold shivers down the spine of even experienced lawyers. One only has to examine prison conditions in Thailand and compare Thai detention centres with hell or a nightmare of the worst category. I have never been to Thailand, but in many extradition procedures for many years I have studied the conditions of detention in many countries.

In Thailand you find without exception overcrowded cells with twenty to forty prisoners, which is due to the fact that Thailand has been rigorously persecuting drug addicts in recent years. Many prisoners are infected with tuberculosis or infected with parasites and have no access to adequate medical care. The hygienic conditions are shocking. It should be possible to prevent any extradition from Europe to Thailand solely because of the conditions of detention. This is especially true if the person concerned is dependent on medical care during detention; which is not available in Thailand.

In the present case, questions raised by us about conditions of detention and medical care during detention have been forwarded by the OLG Cologne (6 AuslA 23/16 - 16) to the Thai law enforcement authorities who, as expected, could not provide satisfactory answers. They have not even taken the trouble to answer individual questions. In any case, such answers could not be satisfactory here because extradition law works only with legally binding assurances from the countries concerned. And Thailand cannot provide such legally binding assurances on the quality of prison conditions.

The extradition request from Thailand would have raised a lot more quite different questions, e.g. with respect to the observance of the minimum defence rights in criminal proceedings there as well as with respect to the expected lifelong imprisonment or death penalty.

The German Federal Foreign Office warns Tourists about the purchase, possession, distribution and import and export of drugs to Thailand, including marijuana, ecstasy and other amphetamines: "Even the possession of small amounts of drugs leads to a long lasting imprisonment and for some offenses the Thai criminal law provides the death penalty. " 



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