By Omar Bah
The Gambia-Senegal extradition agreement will not apply to politicians who seek asylum in the two countries for political offences.
Minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou on Monday tabled the Gambia-Senegal agreements on extradition, mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, assistance to detained persons and transfer of sentenced persons at the National Assembly for ratification.
But the immunity “doesn’t apply to offences of homicide or attempted homicide and offences that affect the life, physical well-being or liberty of any person, or terrorism and any other criminal offence not considered as a political offence under any international agreement, convention or agreement to which both states are parties.”
According to the agreement, the parties could refuse to grant a request related to an offence considered as a purely military offence under the domestic laws of the requested party. Parties could also choose to refuse extradition request “if the requested party has substantial grounds for believing that the request for extradition has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account of that person’s race, sex, religion, social condition, nationality or political opinion.”
According to the agreement, where the offence for which extradition is requested is punishable by death in the legislation of the requesting party, whereas the laws of the pequested party do not provide for the same penalty for such offence, extradition may be refused unless the requesting party gives guarantees, acceptable to the requested party, that death penalty will not be applied.”
“In case of urgency, the requesting party may ask for the provisional arrest of the person sought pending presentation of the request for extradition. The request for provisional arrest shall alternatively be made in writing through the central authorities designated in this Agreement, the international criminal police organization (INTERPOL)or other channels agreed upon by the Parties,” the agreement read
Settlement of disputes
“Any dispute between the parties, arising out of the interpretation or implementation of this agreement, shall be settled through consultation between their central authorities. If no agreement can be
reached through the consultations, the dispute shall be settled through diplomatic channels,” the agreement signed by countries Foreign Ministers added.
“An offence shall be an extraditable offence if it is punishable under the laws of both parties by imprisonment for a period of at least two(2) years. Where the request for extradition relates to a person convicted of an offence, who is wanted by the Requesting Party for the enforcement of an imprisonment sentence, extradition shall not be
granted unless the sentence is imprisonment for a period of at least two (2) years, or the sentence of imprisonment that remains to be served is at least 1 year.”