Final Word from Wednesday, June 2, 2004

A reader well-versed in extradition issues said the Czech constitution wasn't written with extradition in mind. When the framers wrote that a "citizen may not be forced to leave his homeland," they clearly had in mind the kind of harassment and forced exile that existed under the Communists, the reader said. The justice ministry has taken an unnecessarily narrow interpretation of the constitution, he said, and this has allowed Czechs accused of a crime abroad to escape justice. Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský of the Constitutional Court noted on Czech Radio that the Slovak constitution contains the same wording, yet extradition is possible there. Rychetský's recognition that a reinterpretation of the constitution is needed comes as welcome news to extradition experts, our reader said. Anyone else truly interested in the rule of law should welcome it too, he added. bill or rights


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