Kazakshtan Majilis ratifies extradition agreement with Italy16 october 2014, 23:26
The interstate treaty on transfer of convicted criminals to serve their sentences in their home country was signed back in November 2013 as part of a package of reforms to humanize the Kazakhstan penal system and in an effort to enhance legal protection of the citizens abroad.
With this agreement in effect, the Kazakhstan citizens sentenced in Italy will be able to serve their sentences in their homeland and visa versa. The document stipulates the extradition not only of convicts, but also those who are criminally prosecuted.
“This document settles the matters related to the possibility of extradition of the individuals sentenced in one of the two countries for further serving of their terms in their home country. The sentenced person may be transferred if it is a citizen of the requesting country and if the sentence is final,” First Deputy General Prosecutor of Kazakhstan Iogan Merkel said when presenting the draft law at the plenary session of the Majilis.
Besides, there is a number of conditions that have to be met for a convicted person to be transferred to his home country: his or her remaining prison term may not shorter than one year at the time when the extradition request is made, the convict or his/her legal representative should give written consent to the transfer, the crime the person is sentenced for should be recognized as a crime in the requesting country in accordance with its legislation, and finally, both countries should agree to make the transfer.
Both countries have a right to refuse the extradition request if that transfer undermines their sovereignty, security, public order, or contradicts the legislation and national interests.
Each country is eligible to grant pardon, amnesty or other types of commutation of the sentence of the convicted person in accordance with its legislation, provided that the other country is notified about the commutation.
Earlier this week Merkel once again reiterated that adoption of the treaty would not guarantee that every Italian convicted in Kazakhstan would get a transfer back home.
In accordance with the treaty, Italy will have to adjust the sentence given in Kazakhstan to its legislation before the extradition.
"After a sentence is adjusted the court sends its decision to us. If for example, we sentence a person to 7 years in prison and the Italian court gives 3 years for the same felony, than Kazakhstan will not extradite the person back to his or her home country because the punishment is incommensurable. We have had two such cases this year alone (with countries other then Italy), one of them concerned an extradition request from Russia," Iogan Merkel said about the treaty this February.
"Ratification of the agreement between Kazakhstan and Italy is important because Kazakhstan wants to strengthen the legal security of its people, who go abroad, including tourists," Iogan Merkel explained.
According to the terms, the country requesting the extradition incurs all the related costs.
There are currently no Italians in Kazakh prisons and no Kazakhs in Italian prisons.
Kazakhstan has already signed extradition treaties with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, China, Turkey and Spain.
Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina