Tue, 21 May 2013 10:56:46 GMT

UAE ratifies extradition treaty with India

Dubai, May 20 (PTI) The UAE today ratified an extradition treaty facilitating the transfer of prisoners between the Gulf state and India.

The federal decree ratifying the treaty was issued today by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The National daily reported today.

The decree endorses the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners agreement signed between India and the UAE in New Delhi on November 23, 2011, according to a statement from the media office.

Last December, the UAE cabinet had approved the extradition agreements that the country had signed with India for facilitating the transfer of convicts to spend their remaining jail terms in their home countries.

"The agreement comes from the desire of the UAE Government and the Government of the Republic of India to facilitate the social rehabilitation of persons convicted in their countries," today''s decree stated.

It will provide convicted citizens of both countries who have been sentenced for their crimes "the opportunity to spend the duration of their sentences within their communities".

Indian authorities believe there are up to 1,200 Indian citizens in UAE prisons for crimes including murder, drugs and other offences such as drinking and selling alcohol.

As per the treaty, convicted prisoners must volunteer to serve the remainder of their sentence in their home countries.

Inmates serving sentences for murder, drug offences and financial crimes are not eligible.

An Indian official said the procedures to facilitate the transfer would now begin.

"We have been keenly waiting for the ratification and the process will now start where we will work out the procedure of how to transfer the prisoners in a mutually agreed format," said an Indian embassy spokeswoman.

"The cases of the prisoners will be examined and it will be our effort to expedite the process," she said.

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