When a foreigner commits a crime in Thailand and is incarcerated due to such an offence it is not an automatic process where a foreigner will be sent back to his or her country to be trialled. In order for a criminal to be extradited back to his or her home country, an extradition process is required.
Extradition is not an easy process and in Thailand, there are only a number of countries that have an extradition treaty with Thailand. If your country does not have an extradition treaty with Thailand then chances are you need to stay at one of the prisons of Thailand which are considered to be one of the worst in Southeast Asia.
Not all crime is extraditable, however, the following are the crimes that are considered by Thailand and the requesting country to be eligible for extradition:
- A crime punishable by death, or
- A crime punishable by imprisonment of one year or more
Extradition for less serious offences will also be considered if they relate to the commission of serious offences as defined above.
Currently, the following countries have extradition treaties with Thailand:
1. Australia, 2. Bangladesh, 3. Belgium, 4. Canada, 5. Cambodia, 6. China, 7. Fiji, 8. Indonesia, 9. Laos, 10. Malaysia, 11. Philippines, 12. South Korea, 13. The United States of America, 14. The United Kingdom, with Hungary, recently added.
According to the Extradition Act of Thailand, under Section 7. An extraditable offence must be a criminal offence, prescribed by the laws of the Requesting State and Thailand as a criminal offence with a penalty of death or imprisonment or other forms of liberty deprivation for more than one year, no matter if it is prescribed as an offence in the same category or bearing the same name in both countries.
Section 8. The extradition shall commence with an extradition request from the Requesting State.
- The extradition request from the Requesting State that has an extradition treaty with Thailand shall be transmitted to the Central Authority. Where the Requesting State has no extradition treaty with Thailand, the request shall be transmitted through diplomatic channels.
- The extradition request and accompanying documents and evidence shall be in conformity with rules, methods and conditions set forth in Ministerial Regulation.
- The extradition request and the documents and evidence under paragraph three to be submitted to the Court shall be translated into Thai language and certified correct translation.
- The Court may admit the extradition request and the documents and evidence under this section without calling for supplementary witness testimony.
Section 9. The Government of Thailand may consider surrendering a person to the Requesting State for prosecution or serving punishment in a criminal case by the judgment of the Court of the latter having jurisdiction over the proceedings, in the following cases:
(1) where it is an extraditable offence and not prohibited by the Thai laws or not an offence of political character or military offence;
(2) if there is no extradition treaty with the Requesting State when that State demonstrates explicitly that extradition will be granted to Thailand in the same manner if Thailand so requests.The offence of political character in paragraph one (1) does not include the following offences:
(1) murder, inflicting bodily harm or depriving liberty of the King, Queen or Heir Apparent;
(2) murder, inflicting bodily harm or depriving liberty of the Head of State, Head of Government, or immediate family members of those persons;
(3) commission of an offence that is not regarded as a political offence for the purpose of extradition according to treaties to which Thailand is a party. Military offence means a specific military criminal offence and not an offence under criminal law in general.
The following are the conditions required to extradite a person from Thailand:
- The extradition would not be otherwise contrary to Thai law
- The offence is not political in nature: The definition of politics does not include the murder of or wilful crime (or any attempts of such crimes) against the safety of a Head of State or their families
- The offence is not exclusively military in nature
- There is no final judgement from a court in the requesting country finding the person who is the subject of the extradition request innocent of the offence; that such person has already served punishment for the offence; that such person is in no other way precluded from prosecution for the offence; that such person has been granted amnesty from prosecution
Section 12. Execution of an extradition request of a Thai national may be carried out in the following cases:
(1) when it is indicated in the extradition treaty between Thailand and the Requesting State;
(2) that person consents to be extradited; or
(3) it is the extradition under the condition of reciprocity that Thailand commits with the Requesting State.
Whether you require a lawyer who can assist you with submitting an application for extradition for a Foreigner back to his home country or for a Thai Citizen to be extradited to Thailand, Juslaws & Consult can assist with such service.
Extradition is a complicated process and requires dedication from the lawyers handling the case. Juslaws & Consults were fortunate to have assisted several clients regarding extradition process and we are confident that our experience can provide success to future cases we will hold regarding extradition.