NZ and Hong Kong Sign Extradition Agreement

  • Doug Graham

New Zealand and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China today signed agreements covering extradition and mutual assistance on criminal matters.

The Minister of Justice, Hon D.A.M. Graham, says once the extradition agreement comes into effect, both parties will be able to surrender to each other people who have been accused or convicted of specified offences.

'Extradition can be refused where the offence is of a political character or where the request is made to punish the person on the grounds of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, nationality or political opinions,' Mr Graham says.

'There are other safeguards including the ability to refuse extradition for offences which might involve the death penalty, where extradition might place us in breach of our international obligations and where the offence is minor.'

A second agreement relating to mutual assistance in criminal matters was also signed in Hong Kong today.

Under the agreement, both parties agree to help each other in the investigation of criminal offences and other proceedings relating to criminal matters such as the confiscation of the proceeds of crime.

This agreement contains similar safeguards to the extradition agreement.