Aussie A-G or minister decides on extradition request

KUALA LUMPUR - Every extradition process starts with a request from a foreign country to Australia's Attorney-General's Department.

A foreign country can also make an urgent request to provisionally arrest a person before it sends a formal extradition request to Australia.

After the Attorney-General or minister decides to accept the request, a notice to a magistrate that the request has been received is issued.

"To accept an extradition request, the A-G or minister must be of the opinion that the person is an 'extraditable person', which means a person who has been convicted in a foreign country, or a person for which a foreign country has issued an arrest warrant," the department said in its extradition fact sheet.

The decision by the A-G or minister to issue a notice accepting an extradition request can be subject to judicial review.

Next, a magistrate must issue an extradition arrest warrant if he is satisfied that the person is an extraditable person in relation to the extradition country.

"The extradition arrest warrant is executed by Australian police and once the person is arrested, the person must be remanded in custody by a magistrate unless there are 'special circumstances' that justify the grant of bail. Once a person is remanded, the person can waive the extradition process."

A magistrate then determines whether the person is eligible for surrender. In determining this, the magistrate considers various factors, including whether the necessary documents are produced, if there are any additional requirements imposed by regulations, whether there is dual criminality and whether there is an extradition objection.

If the person is eligible for surrender, the person will be committed to prison to await the A-G's or minister's surrender determination unless there are "special circumstances" justifying the grant of bail.

If the magistrate determines that the person is "eligible for surrender", or if the person consents to extradition, the relevant authority decides whether to surrender the person as soon as is reasonably practicable.

In deciding whether to extradite a person who has been found eligible for extradition, the relevant authority must determine whether there are any extradition objections, including substantial grounds for believing that the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture on surrender to the foreign country.

"If the Attorney-General or the minister decides to surrender the person to the foreign country, the A-G's Department liaises with the foreign country on the logistics of surrender. Authorities from the foreign country escort the person from Australia to the foreign country," the department said.

If the person is not removed from Australia within two months of the surrender warrant being issued, the person can apply to the courts to be released.