Is Extradition of Nawaz Sharif Legally Possible? Could An Informal Policy/ Backchannel Diplomacy be Considered?

Pakistan discusses possible solutions for the extradition of Nawaz Sharif (Ex-Prime Minister) with United Kingdom’s officials.

A formal application was filed by PM’s advisor on interior & Accountability affairs for Extradition of Nawaz sharif (it is not possible to bring Nawaz Sharif back merely on filing an application or writing letters to British Authorities but a procedure must be followed for his Extradition and can be done without the existence of a treaty between The UK & Pakistan)

Below stated are 2 legal options mentioned by which if followed extradition of Nawaz Sharif can be possible:

Extradition of Nawaz Sharif Legal option 1

The Extradition Act 2003 UK(Part-2) is Applicable to bring back Nawaz Sharif because it is for the Non-member States to the Treaty (informal Policy)

Procedure: Subsection 4A, Article 70 of part-2 of the Extradition Act 2003, UK States That;-

“a person has been convicted of an offense specified in the request by a court in the Category 2 territory” (Pakistan)
“The Request is made with a View of his arrest and extradition to the Category 2 territory (Pakistan) for the purpose of being sentenced for the Offence or of serving a sentence of imprisonment or another form of detention imposed in respect of that offense.

Jurisdiction: Westminster Magistrates court (The Only Court having jurisdiction in Extradition related matters)

Appeal Available In the Nawaz Sharif Extradition

1) Fair Trial in one’s own country (Which has already been given to Nawaz Sharif by Pakistan’s courts)

2) Physical& Mental Condition (The former PM is often seen strolling in parks and dining at restaurants, his mental condition can be assumed to be fit considering his recent speeches)

3) Seek for Asylum (Nawaz Sharif is not a political prisoner, he has been convicted in legit cases and given a fair trial and awarded sentence by the honorable court after failure to furnish evidence of his sources of income)

Answer: Nawaz Sharif was given a Fair Trial and was provided various Opportunities to explain how he Acquired the funds/source of income to Establish ownership of a Steel Mill in Saudi Arabia & then convicted on failure to explain his source of income in Al-Azizia Steel mill case and was also given the option to Challenge the Verdict. His request of being transferred to Kot Lakhpat jail, Lahore (his hometown) was also granted by the bench instead of Adiala jail, Rawalpindi.

Extradition of Nawaz Sharif Legal Option 2 (Interpol red arrest warrant notice)

in November 2019, The Request made by The Government of Pakistan to INTERPOL to issue a Red Arrest warrant notice against Former Finance minister Ishaq Dar was Rejected on Grounds of Article 3 of the Constitution of Interpol which states;-

“It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”

ICPO-INTERPOL Constitution

In the case of Nawaz Sharif, however, This Application request can be filed against him because he has been Convicted in “Al-Azizia steel mill case” based on concrete evidence and sentenced to serve for 7 years which fulfills the Requirements of Interpol to issue a Red Arrest Warrant Notice.

Article 9 states: “Members shall do all within their power, in so far as is compatible with their own obligations, to carry out the decisions of the General Assembly.”

Requirements to file an application to General Secretary INTERPOL for issuing a Red arrest warrant

Documents of Conviction (case summary), Charge Sheet & if Sentence exceeds 2 years or is Remaining for a time period of more than 6 months

Article 30 of Interpol states: In the exercise of their duties, the Secretary-General and the staff shall neither solicit nor accept instructions from any government or authority outside the Organization. They shall abstain from any action which might be prejudicial to their international task.

Each Member of the Organization shall undertake to respect the exclusively international character of the duties of the Secretary-General and the staff and abstain from influencing them in the discharge of their duties. All Members of the Organization shall do their best to assist the Secretary-General and the staff in the discharge of their functions.

Example of a similar case in which extradition had been done

James Ibori Corruption Case:

The money laundering conviction and 13-year prison term for the Nigerian politician James Ibori on April 17, 2012, is a landmark in the global fight against corruption, Human Rights Watch said today. Ibori, one of Nigeria’s enduring symbols of criminality and impunity, pleaded guilty in a London court to charges involving more than $79 million.

“The world has just got smaller for government officials who believe they can loot their country’s resources with impunity,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “By prosecuting Ibori, the UK authorities have struck a blow not only against financial crimes at home but also against impunity for corruption around the globe.”

In May 2010, Ibori was arrested in the United Arab Emirates on an international warrant obtained by the Metropolitan Police. He was extradited to the United Kingdom in April 2011 and arraigned (to bring an accused before a judge to hear the charges) on 25 counts of money laundering, forgery, and fraud. On February 27, 2012, as his trial was set to begin, Ibori pleaded guilty to seven counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit forgery, one count of obtaining property by deception, and one count of conspiracy to defraud.

“This case was not just about financial transactions in British banks,” said Bekele. “It was about acknowledging global responsibility for helping to stop the devastating human cost of corruption in Nigeria.

Nawaz Sharif Declared an “Absconder”

Nawaz Sharif has been Declared an “Absconder” by the Government of Pakistan on the Following Grounds: –
His Four-Week bail on medical grounds had expired in December last year. He has been residing in London ever since. Nawaz Sharif is a convict who has been residing in London without bail for almost a year. Even the Laws of the UK do not allow a convict living in their territory.

An example where the UK has extradited convicts/accused persons from Pakistan without extradition treaty and through informal policies

Tahir Zarif (Birmingham murder suspect): Tahir Zarif is accused of shooting Akhtar Javeed during a botched robbery at his catering supplies business in Digbeth’s Rea Street in February 2016.

An international manhunt was launched when Zarif – who is alleged to have shot Mr. Javeed in the legs, throat and mouth – fled to Pakistan in the days after the murder and he was detained in Mirpur, Kashmir, in January 2018.

The 29-year-old was in custody in Pakistan for two years but his extradition has now been completed and he returned to the UK with West Midlands Police officers.

West Midlands Police worked with the National Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service, Foreign Office, the British High Commission in Pakistan, and the Pakistani authorities to pursue Zarif.

Detective Sergeant Ranj Sangha said: Extradition has been a complex, drawn-out process but the man suspected of shooting Akhtar Javeed is now in our custody and this demonstrates the lengths we will go to pursue and arrest people from across the world if necessary.”

Richard Crowder, Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan, added: “This case is a further example of effective co-operation on law enforcement and justice between UK and Pakistan authorities – it’s enabled the return of a murder suspect to the UK.”

“Tahir Zarif’s extradition has involved teams from the National Crime Agency, the British High Commission in Islamabad, the CPS, Home Office, and Pakistan authorities in pursuit of justice for Akhtar Javed.”


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