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International Cooperation in Criminal Matters on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in Malaysia (From UNAFEI Annual Report for 1999 and Resource Material Series No. 57, P 149-157, 2000)

NCJ Number
Abdul Jalal Bin Mohd Yunus
Date Published
September 2001
9 pages
This article discusses extradition and mutual legal assistance in Malaysia.
In Malaysia, the National Central Bureau/Interpol of Criminal Investigation Department takes the role of the police in matters of mutual legal assistance. This division acts as a coordinator in providing appropriate assistance to requesting countries. The extradition process is governed by the Extradition Act of 1992. Two inherent conditions are required to satisfy the elements of extradition include: there must be a fugitive criminal and the offense committed must be an extradition offense. The categories of offenses that entitle the authorities to request the return of fugitive criminals: (1) an extradition offense that is punishable with imprisonment for not less than 1 year, and that is punishable under the laws of Malaysia with imprisonment for not less than 1 year or with death; (2) extra-territorial offenses, such as offenses against the state and offenses under the prevention of corruption act; and (3) offenses committed at sea or air. The procedure of extradition must be strictly followed and is a slow process. The Extradition Act of 1992 provides that a fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered to a country seeking his return in a situation where the offense is political in character; or the punishment is due to race, religion, nationality, or political opinion. The Act gives wide discretion to the Minister, who may refuse to allow an extradition if he thinks it would be unjust or inexpedient to do so. The essential principles regarding extradition are the principle of double criminality, speciality, rule on prime facie cases, and political offenses. Malaysia has treaties with the Republic of Indonesia, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the United States for the mutual surrender of fugitive criminals. Assistance in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activities in an international sense is a recent development. The Royal Malaysian Police have always viewed regional cooperation as a practical means in pursuing a criminal matter outside its jurisdiction.