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602. Procedures For Requesting Extradition From Abroad

Extradition involves four basic steps:

  • contacting the Office of International Affairs;
  • making a preliminary determination of extraditability;
  • deciding whether to ask for provisional arrest; and
  • submitting the required documents in support of the formal request for extradition.

These steps are described more fully in the following sections.

Some courts have held that the Speedy Trial Clause of the Sixth Amendment or the Speedy Trial Act require the government to make a diligent good-faith effort to bring the defendant to trial promptly; in the context of extradition, this means that the government is obligated to seek the extradition of a fugitive as soon as his or her location becomes known unless the effort would be useless. E.g. United States v. Blanco, 861 F.2d 773 (2d Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 489 U.S. 1019 (1989); United States v. Pomeroy, 822 F.2d 718 (8th Cir. 1987); United States v. Walton, 814 F.2d 376 (7th Cir. 1987). Consequently, the prosecutor should contact the Office of International Affairs as soon as the whereabouts of a fugitive or the target of an investigation is known. See also USAM 9-15.225.

[cited in USAM 9-15.200]

Updated June 9, 2015