Kazakh Senate ratifies extradition treaty between Kazakhstan, Ukraine

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Senate ratified the Law On Ratification of the Extradition Agreement between Kazakhstan and Ukraine Nov. 7. The new terms will allow the countries to exchange individuals suspected of crimes, as well as those who evade executing court decisions.

Photo credit: 24.kz.

The gradual withdrawal of Ukraine from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) increased “the need to conclude such an agreement,” said Kazakh Deputy Prosecutor General Marat Akhmetzhanov when he presented the bill at the Senate plenary meeting, reported inform.kz.

Kazakhstan has established trustful relations with Ukraine in criminal prosecution, he said. In the last three years, Ukraine has extradited six Kazakh criminals. To date, six additional Kazakh citizens are hiding in Ukraine to avoid prosecution for their criminal charges.

“Ratification of the treaty will increase the effectiveness of cooperation between the two countries in the fight against crime. The main objective of the agreement is to cooperate in the extradition of wanted persons in their territories for criminal prosecution or enforcement of a court sentence for crimes involving extradition,” said Senator Andrei Lukin in his remarks.

The countries, however, can extradite a person only if his or her crime provides for at least one-year imprisonment in both countries. The agreement also provides grounds to refuse extradition.

“If the act is considered as a crime on one side but not on the other side, the statute of limitations has expired, the requested act is a military crime or extradition can cause damage to sovereignty and national security, (extradition) may be contrary to the law or international obligations of Kazakhstan,” said Akhmetzhanov.

Kazakhstan has similar bilateral treaties with 21 countries and soon plans to sign similar agreements with Cyprus, Greece and Malaysia, he added. The CISMinsk Convention, which regulates extradition questions for Kazakhstan and other countries in the group including Ukraine, does not prohibit concluding such agreements.

The Kazakh Parliament adopted the document and sent it to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for signature.

The same day, the Senate ratified the Protocol on Amending the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Affairs of April 15, 1994. The CIS heads of governments signed the updated protocol at the July 1, 2018 CIS Council meeting in Dushanbe.