LEGAL OPINION: Why US Department Of Justice Has A Case To Answer And Hushpuppi May Be Freed.

LEGAL OPINION: Why US Department Of Justice Has A Case To Answer And Hushpuppi May Be Freed.

Why US Department Of Justice Has A Case To Answer And Hushpuppi May Be Freed.
Why US Department Of Justice Has A Case To Answer And Hushpuppi May Be Freed.

By Okenyi Sunday Chinweike

The relationship among international community is primarily governed by treaties. Thus state’s action is not vilified by the reason of involving itself in the international activities, but by its act of not adhering to the laws and principles governing the international community. Hushpuppi was recently arrested by Dubai police force for alleged fraud and money laundering and at the request of US department of Justice was extradited from Dubai to US.

This movement by the US department of justice was dubbed as “kidnap” by Hushpuppi lawyer, Gal Pissetzky in his words “"The FBI and the government here acted illegally when they kidnapped him from Dubai without any legal process to do so” While the word kidnapped used by the lawyer may appear demeaning to what US Department Of Justice stands for and evidence they have against Hushpuppi, he may be justified following the principle of international law on extradition.

The international law governing extradition, The Model law on extradition defined extradition as “the surrender of any person who is sought by the requesting state for criminal prosecution for an extraditable offence or for the imposition or enforcement of a sentence in respect of such an offence” According to article 2(1) of the Model Law on Extradition, “ A person may be extradited in accordance with the present law or a relevant extradition treaty or agreement on the request of a requesting state for purpose of prosecution or imposition or enforcement of a sentence….” Hence for hushpuppi to be successfully extradited to US, there must be extradition treaty between UAE and US governments supported by appropriate documents.

The documents are veritably necessary and must be duly certified, authenticated and translated into the language of the country where the fugitive was arrested when necessary. A common mistake such as typographical error or omission may be capitalized by the person’s (transferee) attorney, the reason the documents takes lengthy period of time for preparation. However, in an urgent situation where it is likely for the fugitive to flee, Provisional Arrest can be requested with complete form for requesting provisional arrest, a copy of the charging document and arrest warrant. Failure to adhere to the due process of extradition may lead to release of the fugitive, strains on diplomatic relations, and possible liability for the prosecutor.

Consequently, hushpuppi was arrested and extradited to US within a week, raising the presumption that the first principle of extradition was not followed which demands relevant extradition treaty that must exist between the two independent countries with duly and authentic appropriate documents submitted by US to UAE.

The later principle which allows provisional arrest subject to flight of the fugitive cannot be justified as the reason for extradition, because Hushpuppi was arrested and detained in police custody in Dubai removing the suggestive presumption of him fleeing. However, the onus is on the US department of justice to certify to have followed the international principle of extradition and tender the relevant documents in support.  Peradventure the neglect of the extradition treaty is made bare, the cleverly allegation by Hushppupi’s lawyer, Gal Pissetzky, of his client being kidnapped will constitute a grievous liability on the side of US Department of Justice.

Kidnapping involving interstate movement is prohibited by various international laws. It constitute the violation of the fundamental rights of the transferee and also the state which the transferee is a citizen may push for diplomatic redress or worse, strain their relationship with the requesting state, US Government in this regard.

United Nation (2004). Model Law on Extradition> (Accessed July)
United Nation.  Revised Manuals on the Model Treaty on Extradition and on the Model Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters > (Accessed July)
International Extradition And Related Matters > (Accessed July)


Okenyi Sunday Chinweike is a poet, an essayist, social critic, a researcher and an avid reader. His interests however, cuts across history, politics, culture, international and human rights law. His poems have been published in some reputable websites and journals.

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