Arms dealer extradited to Argentina

Bern/Zurich, 5.12.2002. Switzerland extradited an arms dealer to Argentina on Wednesday. The dual French-US citizen boarded an evening flight from Zurich to Buenos Aires accompanied by Argentinian police officers.

The man had been in custody pending extradition since he was arrested in Geneva on 25 May 2002 following a request from Interpol Buenos Aires. According to the formal extradition application of 2 July, the Argentinian authorities supect the man of illegally exporting large volumes of weapons from Argentina to Ecuador and Croatia. The extradited man had claimed that he would face a variety of dangers if extradition were to go ahead. At the request of the FoJ, the Argentinian authorities supplied a number of guarantees during July, with assurances that the trial would be conducted in accordance with human rights conventions. Having received these guarantees, the FoJ – as the authority of first instance – ruled that the man be extradited to Argentina. An appeal against the extradition was rejected by the Federal Supreme Court on 18 November 2002.

Like the FoJ, in its extradition ruling the Federal Supreme Court stated expressly that under Swiss law, the arms dealer's alleged actions represented a gross breach of the war materials act and therefore met the condition of dual criminality. Moreover, the Federal Supreme Court regards the guarantees of a trial in accordance with human rights conventions as credible and assessed the protective measures planned by the Argentinian authorities as sufficient to counter the dangers that the appellant claimed to face.

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Last modification 05.12.2002

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