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NATIONAL EXTRADITION LAWS

Some national laws specifically refer to the use of Interpol channels for forwarding requests for provisional arrest.

One such example is the extradition law of 28th November 1996 which was adopted by Andorra following its accession to the European Convention on Extradition. Article 6 of this law mentions Interpol as a means of forwarding requests for provisional arrest.

Article 45 of the Argentine iaw on international co-operation in criminal matters of 13th January 1997 stipulates that requests for provisional arrest can be transmitted via diplomatic channels or through Interpol channels.

Lastly, it should be noted that Article 28 of the draft model extradition law being drawn up by the United Nations provides for the use of Interpol channels to forward requests for provisional arrest. This means that all countries which implement a national extradition law based on the Unite Nations model, which expressly recognize Interpol’s role in forwarding requests for provisional arrest.

Provisional arrest means that the person can be detained for a relatively long period while awaiting extradition: 20 days under the terms of the ECOWAS Convention on the Extradition, 60 days under the terms of Inter-American Convention on Extradition, 18 to 40 days under the terms of the Europen Convention on Extradition, 30 to 60 days under the terms of the Arab Convention on Mutual assistance in Legal Matters. Ones that period has expired, the person is released.

Provisional arrest is therefore a period during which a person is kept in prison while a decision is being taken by the requested State about this extradition to the requesting State. This does not correspond to detention by the police without a court order prior to arrest, to detention in custody or to short term custody (depending on the terminology used in different countries). Consicuently, under normal circumstances, a decision to make a provisional arrest can not be taken by the police department which has located the person (unlike detention prior to arrest or detention in custody): that decision must be taken by the appropriate judicial authority in the requested State, which base their decision on information provided by the police