Press release regarding the extradition of a Romanian citizen to the US , where he risks the death penalty

Friday - 22 November 2013
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APADOR-CH has asked the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide information on the guarantees the Romanian state has required from the USA for the extradition of Camil Mătase, a Romanian citizen suspected to have killed his wife and son in Texas.

The association reminds that Romania in 1990 signed the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and abolished the death penalty, which is still in force in some parts of the United States , including Texas . In 1994, Romania also ratified the European Convention for Human Rights, including Protocol no. 6, which prohibits death penalty. Therefore, in this case, it must be seen if and under what conditions the state may decide citizen Mătase’s extradition, so as to observe the international treaties Romania is part of.

On the other hand, Romania has ratified the Extradition Treaty with the United States of America by Law no. 111/2008. According to article 7 of this law, when an offense for which extradition is sought is punishable by death under the law in the Requesting State but not under the law in the Requested State, the latter may grant extradition on the condition that the death penalty shall not be imposed on the person sought, or if for procedural reasons such condition cannot be complied with by the Requesting State, on condition that the death penalty, if imposed, shall not be carried out.

APADOR-CH has reminded the national authorities that, in the case of Soering vs. United Kingdom , the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judged that it could not accept the extradition of the suspect to the United States because the person risked the death penalty and that risk alone led to a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention for Human Rights.

APADOR-CH asks the national authorities to give a thorough examination, without rush or too much eagerness, to the extradition request regarding Camil Mătase, which needs to be solved by obtaining clear and firm guarantees that the death penalty will not be imposed/carried out against the suspect, as provided by Article 7 of Law no. 111/2008, by the European Convention for Human Rights and its additional protocols and by ECHR jurisprudence.