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Criminal Resource Manual

606. Copies of Warrant and Complaint and/or Indictment

If the fugitive has not been convicted, obtain certified copies of the arrest warrant and the complaint and/or indictment, and attach them to the prosecutor's affidavit as exhibits. For some countries, a certificate of exemplification (three signatures: clerk, judge, clerk) may be required.

If the fugitive has jumped bond or escaped before conviction, include certified copies of the warrant for bond jumping or escape and for the underlying offense. The prosecutor's affidavit should recite that the issuance of the bond jumping/escape warrant serves to bring the fugitive before the court on both the named charge and the underlying offense. Note that most older extradition treaties do not include bond jumping or escape as extraditable offenses. In such cases, it will not be possible to try the fugitive for those offenses.

In civil law countries, the warrant is the charging document. Warrants therefore have greater procedural significance in those countries than in the United States. For example, civil law courts often grant extradition only for the crimes listed in the warrant, not those in the indictment. This creates serious problems in United States extradition cases because warrants are usually prepared in the clerk's office, which routinely lists only one or two of the offenses in the indictment.

A related problem involves signature of the warrant by the clerk pursuant to the court's order. Given the significance of warrants in civil law countries, they are always signed by judges or magistrates. Even though extradition treaties do not require that warrants be signed by a judge or magistrate in order to be valid, problems have arisen in the past when the United States has submitted warrants signed by clerks.

Consequently, if the warrant does not list all the crimes in the indictment, or if it is not signed by a judge or magistrate, the prosecutor may need to have it amended. If the clerk's office will not permit amendment, move for the issuance of a new warrant containing the requisite information and signatures. Doing so will necessitate an additional paragraph in the prosecutor's affidavit explaining any discrepancies between the dates of the complaint, indictment, first warrant, and second warrant. A similar explanation should be included whenever two or more warrants have been issued because of superseding indictments or for any other reason.

[cited in Criminal Resource Manual 609; USAM 9-15.240]