Department of State's Role in the Extradition Process (Taken Question)

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 31, 2014

Question: Generally, what are the rules governing the extradition process? How does State coordinate with Justice? In the end, does State sign off on the determination?

Answer: The rules governing the U.S. extradition relationship with a foreign country are specified in the applicable extradition treaty.

The Department of State works very closely with the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs on extradition matters.

The Department of State’s responsibilities include:

  • In coordination with the Department of Justice, reviewing and processing requests to and from foreign governments for the extradition of fugitives and advising on obligations set out in applicable extradition treaties;
  • Making the final determination on whether to surrender a fugitive to a foreign country after a U.S. district judge or magistrate judge has determined, among other things, that the charge underlying the extradition is covered by the treaty and that the evidence presented is sufficient to sustain the charge; and
  • Carrying out consular visitation and other protective services for U.S. citizens incarcerated or detained overseas.

It is the policy of the Department not to comment on specific extradition requests, including whether a request has or has not been made in a particular case.