Extradition Treaty Between the United States of America and the Republic of Albania (22/12/2020)
Extradition Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Albania
Tirana on December 22, 2020
EXTRADITION TREATY WITH THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
EXTRADITION TREATY BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
April 7, 2022.–Treaty was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
The White House, April, 7 2022.
To the Senate of the United States:
With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Extradition
Treaty between the Government of the United States of America
and the Government of the Republic of Albania (the “Treaty”),
signed at Tirana on December 22, 2020. I also transmit, for the
information of the Senate, the report of the Department of
State with respect to the Treaty.
The Treaty would replace the extradition treaty between the
United States and Albania, signed at Tirana on March 1, 1933.
The Treaty follows generally the form and content of other
extradition treaties recently concluded by the United States.
It would replace an outmoded list of extraditable offenses with
a modern “dual criminality” approach, which would enable
extradition for such offenses as money laundering, cyber-
related crimes, and other newer offenses not appearing on the
list. The Treaty also contains a modernized “political
offense” clause and provides that extradition shall not be
refused based on the nationality of the person sought. Finally,
the Treaty incorporates a series of procedural improvements to
streamline and expedite the extradition process.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable
consideration to the Treaty, and give its advice and consent to ratification.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
LETTER OF SUBMITTAL
Department of State,
Washington, February 1, 2022.
The White House.
I have the honor to submit to you the Extradition Treaty
Between the Government of the United States of America and the
Government of the Republic of Albania, signed in Tirana on
December 22, 2020 (the “Treaty”). Upon its entry into force,
the Treaty would replace the Treaty of Extradition Between the
United States of America and the Kingdom of Albania, signed at
Tirana on March 1, 1933 (the “1933 Treaty”). I recommend the
new Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and
consent to ratification.
The Treaty follows generally the form and content of other
extradition treaties recently concluded by the United States,
and it is an important part of a concerted effort by the
Department of State and the Department of Justice to modernize
the legal tools available for the extradition of serious
offenders. The Treaty is self-executing and will not require
An overview of the Treaty, including a detailed article-by-
article analysis, is enclosed. The Department of. Justice joins
the Department of State in favoring approval of the Treaty by
the Senate at the earliest possible date.
Antony J. Blinken.
Enclosures: As stated.
Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United States of
America and the Government of the Republic of Albania
The Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United
States of America and the Government of the Republic of Albania
(the “Treaty”) replaces the extradition treaty currently in
force between the two countries, which was signed in 1933 (the
“1933 Extradition Treaty”).
The following is an Article-by-Article description of the provisions of the Treaty:
Article 1 obligates each Party to extradite to the
Requesting State those persons sought for prosecution or for
imposition or service of a sentence for an extraditable offense.
Article 2 defines extraditable offenses. Under Article
2(1), an offense is extraditable if it is punishable under the
laws of both States by deprivation of liberty for a maximum
period of more than one year or by a more severe penalty. This
formulation reflects the modem “dual criminality” approach,
in contrast to the requirement under the 1933 Treaty that the
offense be among those listed in the Treaty. The dual
criminality formulation also obviates the need to renegotiate
or supplement the Treaty as additional offenses become
punishable under the laws of both States. It ensures
comprehensive coverage of criminal conduct for which
extradition may be sought.
Article 2(2) further defines an extraditable offense to
include an attempt or a conspiracy to commit, or participation
in the commission of, an extraditable offense, if the offense
of attempt, conspiracy, or participation is punishable under
the laws of the Requesting State by deprivation of liberty for
a maximum period of more than one year or a more severe
penalty. By using the broad term “participation,” the Treaty
covers such offenses as aiding, abetting, counseling, or
procuring the commission of an offense, as well as being an
accessory to an offense, at whatever stage of development of
the criminal conduct and regardless of the alleged offender’s
degree of involvement.
Article 2(3) identifies a number of situations in which an
offense will be extraditable despite potential differences in
the criminal laws of both States. For instance, an offense
shall be extraditable whether or not the laws of the Requesting
and Requested States place the acts constituting the offense
within the same category of offenses or describe the offenses
by the same terminology. In addition, an offense involving
fraud or evasion of obligations with respect to taxes, customs
duties, or import/export controls shall be extraditable
regardless of whether the Requested State provides for the same
sort of taxes, duties, or controls. This provision also makes
explicit that an offense is extraditable even where U.S.
federal law requires the showing of certain matters merely for
the purpose of establishing U.S. federal jurisdiction,
including interstate transportation or use of the mails or of
other facilities affecting interstate or foreign commerce. This
clarifies an important issue for the United States in
requesting extradition for certain federal crimes.
Article 2(4) addresses issues of territorial jurisdiction.
It specifies that where the Requesting State seeks extradition
for an offense that occurred outside its territory, the
Requested State shall grant extradition if the laws of the
Requested State would provide for punishment of the
extraterritorial offense in similar circumstances. If the
Requested State’s laws would not provide for punishment of the
extraterritorial offense in similar circumstances, the
Requested State nonetheless retains discretion to grant
extradition provided the other requirements of the Treaty are met.
Article 2(5) prohibits the Requested State from refusing
extradition for the sole reason that the offense was committed
in its own territory. The U.S negotiating team proposed this
provision in order to satisfy a provision of Albania’s domestic
law that permits extradition for offenses committed in
Albania’s territory only when expressly required by an
extradition treaty or other binding international agreement.
Article 2(6) prescribes that if extradition is granted for
an extraditable offense, it shall also be granted for any other
offense specified in the request even if the latter offense is
punishable by a maximum of one year’s deprivation of liberty or
less, provided that all other requirements for extradition are met.
Article 2(7) provides that where the extradition request is
for service of a sentence of imprisonment for an extraditable
offense, the Requested State may deny extradition if, at the
time of the request, the remainder of the sentence to be served
is less than four months.
Article 3 establishes that extradition shall not be refused
based on the nationality of the person sought.
Article 4 establishes an exception for political and
military offenses. Article 4(1) states that extradition shall
not be granted if the offense for which extradition is
requested is a political offense.
Article 4(2) describes five categories of offenses that
shall not be considered to be political offenses. A near
identical list of these limitations was included in the
extradition treaties between the United States and Chile
(signed 2013), the United States and the Dominican Republic
(signed 2015), and the United States and Kosovo (signed 2016).
In addition, to offenses that involve the possession,
placement, use or threatened use of an explosive, incendiary,
or destructive device when such device is capable of
endangering life or causing substantial bodily harm or
substantial property damage, Article 4(2)(d) of the Treaty also
establishes that political offenses cannot include offenses
involving similarly serious biological, chemical, or
radiological agents. Further, Article 4(2)(e) makes clear that
conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the specified non-
political offenses, or aiding or abetting another person who
commits or attempts to commit such offenses, also shall not be
considered a political offense. This slight expansion of the
political offense exception is in keeping with a major priority
of the United States to ensure that an overbroad definition of
political offense does not impede the ability to extradite terrorists.
Notwithstanding Article 4(2), Article 4(3) provides that
extradition shall not be granted if the executive authority of
the Requested State determines that the request was politically motivated.
Under Article 4(4), the executive authority of the
Requested State may refuse extradition for offenses under
military law that are not offenses under ordinary criminal law.
Desertion would be an example of such an offense.
Article 5(1) prohibits extradition in instances where a
person sought has been previously convicted or acquitted by the
Requested State for the offense for which extradition is
requested. Under Article 5(2), however, a person shall not be
considered to have been convicted or acquitted in the Requested
State when the authorities of the Requested State: (a) have
decided not to prosecute the person sought for the acts for
which extradition is requested; (b) have decided to discontinue
any criminal proceedings against the person for those acts; or
(c) are still investigating or proceeding against the person
sought for the same acts for which extradition is sought.
Article 6 provides that the decision by the Requested State
whether to grant extradition shall be made without regard to
the domestic law of either Party concerning lapse of time,
thereby eliminating the need for the Requested State to
consider questions about whether the statute of limitations on
the offense in question has run in the Requesting State in the
course of the extradition proceedings.
Article 7 addresses punishment. When an offense for which
extradition is sought is punishable by death under the laws of
the Requesting State but not under the laws of the Requested
State, the executive authority of the Requested State may
refuse extradition unless the Requesting State provides
assurances that: (a) the death penalty shall not be imposed on
the person sought, or (b), if for procedural reasons the
Requesting Party cannot provide that assurance, the death
penalty, if imposed, shall not be carried out against the
person sought. If either type of assurance is provided, the
Requested State must grant the extradition request, and the
Requesting State must abide by its assurance.
Article 8 specifies the procedures and documents required
to support a request for extradition. Article 8(1) requires all
extradition requests to be submitted through the diplomatic
channel. Among several other requirements, Article 8(3)(c)
establishes that extradition requests must be supported by such
information as would provide a reasonable basis to believe that
the person sought committed the offense(s) for which
extradition is requested. Notably, this language is understood
as equivalent to the probable cause standard applied in U.S.
criminal law and applied by U.S. courts in determining whether
to certify to the Secretary of State that a fugitive’s
extradition would be lawful under the applicable treaty and U.S. law.
Article 8(5) specifies the information required to be
included in an extradition request if the request is made for
an individual who has been convicted in absentia. Article 8(6)
permits the submission of additional information to enable the
Requested State to decide on the extradition request.
Article 9 sets out the procedures for the certification,
authentication and admissibility of documents in extradition
Article 10 requires all documents submitted by the
Requesting State under the Treaty to be accompanied by a
translation into the language of the Requested State, unless
Article 11 provides that, in cases of urgency, the
Requesting State may request the provisional arrest of the
person sought and sets forth the procedures for making such a
request pending presentation of the formal extradition request.
Article 11(2) specifies the information that must accompany a
provisional arrest request.
Article 11(3) provides that the Requesting State shall be notified without delay of the date of
a provisional arrest or the reasons why the Requested State cannot proceed with the request.
Article 11(4) permits the release of the person provisionally arrested if the executive
authority of the Requested State does not receive the formal
extradition request and supporting documents within 60 days of
the date on which the person was provisionally arrested. This
paragraph also specifies that for the purposes of applying the
60-day time limitation, receipt of the formal extradition
request and supporting documents by the embassy of the
Requested State located in the Requesting State constitutes
receipt by the executive authority of the Requested State.
Article 11(5) makes clear that the release of a person pursuant
to Article 11(4) does not prevent the person’s re-arrest and
extradition if the Requested State receives the formal
extradition request and supporting documents at a later date.
Article 12 requires the Requested State to promptly notify
the Requesting State of its decision regarding an extradition
request. If the Requested State denies extradition, Article
12(2) requires the Requested State to explain the reasons for
the denial. If the Requested State grants extradition, Article
12(3) requires’the executive authorities of the Requested and
Requesting States to coordinate the date and place for
surrendering the person sought.
Article 12(4) provides that if the person to be surrendered is not removed from the territory
of the Requested State within the time prescribed by the
Requested State’s laws, the Requested State may discharge the
person sought from custody and may subsequently refuse
extradition for the same offense.
Article 13 addresses deferred extradition proceedings as
well as deferred and temporary surrender of the person sought.
Under Article 13(1), if the person sought is being proceeded
against in the Requested State, the Requested State may defer
the extradition proceedings until its own proceedings have been
Article 13(2) addresses circumstances where extradition proceedings have concluded and extradition has been authorized, but the person sought is being proceeded against or
is serving a sentence in the Requested State. In such cases,
the Requested State may either defer the surrender of the
person sought or temporarily surrender the person to the
Requesting State for the purpose of prosecution.
Article 13(3) explains that if the Requested State elects to defer surrender,
it may detain the person sought until surrender. Under Article
13(4), however, if the Requested State elects to temporarily
surrender the person to the Requesting State, the Requesting
State must detain the temporarily surrendered person during
proceedings and return the person when proceedings conclude, in
accordance with any conditions that may be agreed to by the
Parties. The person’s return to the Requested State shall not
require any further extradition request or proceedings.
Moreover, upon return to the Requested State, the time a person
served in the temporary custody of the Requesting State may be
deducted from the remaining time to be served in the Requested
Pursuant to Article 14, if the Requested State receives
extradition requests for the same person from the Requesting
State and from any other State or States, either for the same
offense or for different offenses, the executive authority of
the Requested State shall determine to which State, if any, it
will surrender that person. Article 14 requires the Requested
State to consider a list of non-exclusive factors when making
Article 15 provides that, subject to certain conditions,
the Requested State may seize and surrender to the Requesting
State all items that are connected with the offense for which
extradition is sought or that may be required as evidence in
the Requesting State.
Article 16(1) sets forth the rule of specialty, which
prohibits a person extradited under the Treaty from being
detained, tried, or punished in the Requesting State, except
where the detention, trial, or punishment: (a) is for an
offense for which extradition was granted, or for a differently
denominated offense carrying the same or lesser penalty that is
based on the same facts as the offense for which extradition
was granted, provided such offense is extraditable or a lesser
included offense; (b) is for an offense committed after that
person’s extradition to the Requesting State; or (c) occurs
with the consent of the executive authority of the Requested
State. The Requested State may require the Requesting State to
submit the documentation required under Article 8 prior to
consenting to the person’s detention, trial or punishment for a
Article 16(2) provides that a person extradited under the
Treaty may not be the subject of onward extradition or
surrender for any offense committed prior to extradition,
unless the Requested State consents. This provision would
preclude the Republic of Albania from transferring to a third
State or an international tribunal a fugitive that the United
States surrendered to the Republic of Albania, unless the
United States consents. Article 16(3), however, permits the
Requesting State to detain, try, punish, extradite, or
surrender the same person if that person: (a) leaves and
voluntarily returns to the Requesting State, or (b) chooses not
to leave the Requesting State within 10 days of the day that
person is free to leave. Article 16(4) provides that the rule
of specialty provisions in this Article do not apply if the
person sought waives extradition under Article 17(a).
Article 17 allows the Requested State to expedite the
transfer of the person whose extradition is sought to the
Requesting State when, as provided in Article 17(a), the person
waives extradition, in which case a judicial officer may direct
the person’s transfer to the Requesting State without further
proceedings, or when, as provided in Article 17(b), the person
consents to extradition or to a simplified extradition
proceeding, in which case the Requested State may surrender the
person as expeditiously as possible.
Article 18(1) allows either State to authorize
transportation through its territory of a person being
extradited or otherwise transferred to the other State by a
third State or from the other State to a third State for the
purposes of prosecution, imposition of a sentence, or service
of a sentence. It also specifies the procedures for requesting
such transit and makes clear that a person who is being
transported pursuant to this Article shall be detained during
the period of transit. Under Article 18(2), authorization is
not required when one State uses air transportation and no
landing is scheduled in the other State’s territory. Should an
unscheduled landing occur in a State, however, that State may
require submission of a formal transit request pursuant to
paragraph 1. The State in which the unscheduled landing occurs
must take all measures necessary to prevent the person being
transferred from absconding until the transit is effected, so
long as the transit request is received within 96 hours of the
Article 19 requires the Requested State to advise, assist,
appear in court on behalf of, and represent the interests of
the Requesting State in any proceedings arising out of an
extradition request. The Requested State must bear all expenses
incurred in that State in connection with the extradition
proceedings, except for expenses related to translation of
documents and transportation of the person surrendered.
Article 20 provides that the U.S. Department of Justice and
the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Albania may consult
with each other directly in connection with individual cases
and in furtherance of efficient implementation of the Treaty.
Article 21 establishes that the Treaty applies to offenses
committed both before and after the date it enters into force.
Article 22(1) notes that the Treaty is subject to
ratification, and Article 22(2) provides that it shall enter
into force upon the exchange of instruments of ratification.
Article 22(3) provides that, upon entry into force, the Treaty
shall supersede the 1933 Treaty with respect to all requests
submitted on or after that date. With respect to pending
requests made under the 1933 Treaty, sub-paragraphs (3) and (4)
provide that the Treaty shall supersede the 1933 Treaty, except
that the provisions of the 1933 Treaty related to extradition
procedures, required documents and the admissibility and
translation of documents shall apply if the extradition request
and supporting documents have already been submitted to the
Requested State at the time the Treaty enters into force.
Under Article 23, either Party may terminate the Treaty at
any time by giving written notice to the other Party through
the diplomatic channel. The termination shall be effective six
months after the date of such notice.
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