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Defence in Extradition proceedings

In international criminal law, extradition is the procedure whereby a person accused or found guilty of an offence, pursuant to the law of one State, is detained in the territory of another for rendition to the requesting State for trial or, where applicable, to serve an existing sentence.


Except in the case of an express waiver, the speciality principle is applied, meaning that the person extradited cannot be tried in the requesting State other than for the alleged offences which gave rise to the extradition.


Extradition proceedings are regulated by international treaties – which are generally bilateral-, and by the principle of reciprocity.


Within the sphere of the European Union, the European arrest warrant was created as the Union’s first instrument applying the principle of mutual recognition of legal resolutions, thus speeding up the process of extradition within the EU.


The applicable legislation in force in Spain is Law 4/1985, of 21 March, on passive extradition, which regulates the procedure applicable when a State requests the extradition of a person located in Spain.


In this process, the person whose extradition is requested will often be arrested and detained in prison provisionally until rendition to the foreign authorities. It is therefore essential that they should have a lawyer to defend their interests during this period.


The lawyer plays an extremely important role in the extradition proceedings, not only carrying out any legal-procedural actions that may be necessary, but also offering complementary services appropriate to the circumstances:


•    Performance of a range of procedures related to the detention of the extraditee: organisation of visits for the spouse or relatives, deposits of cash, presentation of appeals, recovery of personal possessions.


•     Contact with embassies or other bodies in order to obtain information and/or assistance for the client and their relatives.


•     Contact with lawyers in the requesting State in order to obtain information on the case and assist in the preparation of the defence.


At Sánchez-Cervera Abogados, we offer our clients all the services necessary to ensure the best possible defence and advice during the extradition process. Our lawyers speak fluent English, enabling them to communicate easily with foreigners arrested in Spain under an extradition process, as well as with their relatives.


For further information, contact us via the following link.


Useful documents:


USA – EU Extradition Treaty

Spain – USA Extradition Treaty

European Convention on Extradition



The latest news related to extradition

21 August 2019


The Brazilian Supreme Court authorized the extradition of Spanish citizen convicted of participating in the massacre of five lawyers in Madrid´s Atocha street in 1977.


Source: "El País".


Click here to read the complete article.


18 September 2018


Belgian court refuses to extradite Spanish rapper Valtònyc


Source: "El País".


Click here to read the complete article.


6 September 2018


The Spanish government approves extraditing former senior officials of the Venezuelan government and former PDVSA executives to the United States

On June 22nd, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the extradition to the United States of Rafael Ernesto Reiter, former head of security and loss prevention for the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA. Reiter was demanded by the United States to be tried for his alleged involvement in money laundering, international corruption and organized crime.

Click here to read the complete article.

21 August 2018


Former HSBC banker wins appeal against extradition to US


Source: The Guardian


Read the full article here:


28 May 2018

Switzerland’s move to start a second extradition process for Hervé Falciani


On 5 April, French-Italian computer analyst and former HSBC employee Hervé Daniel Marcel Falciani was arrested in Madrid. He was accused of leaking the names of over 130,000 possible tax evaders, clients of HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary, in a document known as the “Falciani List”. The people named included 659 alleged tax evaders from Spain.


Click here to read the complete article.


Update September 2018


Spanish Court turns down again Swiss request to extradite former HSBC employee



Source: Agencia EFE.


Click here to read the complete article.


16 November 2017


US Supreme Court OKs Salvadoran's extradition to Spain for Jesuits' murder.


Source: Agencia EFE


Read the full article here





18 February 2017


Taiwan regrets Spanish decision to deport Taiwanese to China in fraud case


The Spanish government had approved the extradition of 269 "Chinese citizens" as part of a year-long investigation into an Internet fraud ring operated from several Spanish cities, including Madrid and Barcelona.


Althought around 200 of the suspects were Taiwanese, China says Taiwan is part of its territory and has no right to diplomatic relations.


Source: Reuters


You can read the complete article here:




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Office: C/ General Oráa, 26 (Madrid - 28006).

Recorded in the Madrid Companies Register in volume 34.303, of the 8th Section, sheet 131, page number M-617104.