Jocelyn Chia can only be extradited if US gives the OK - Lawyers

15 Jun 2023 05:50pm
Jocelyn Chia
Jocelyn Chia

SHAH ALAM - A request for extradition can only happen when there is an extradition treaty between Malaysia and the country from which it is seeking extradition, says lawyer.

Former Bar Council president Salim Bashir Bhaskaran said it should also be in compliance with the Extradition Act 1992 and be an extradition offence.

There was an extradition treaty between the United States of America and Malaysia that was enforced in June 1997.

"Undoubtedly, although there could be offences traceable and deemed committed under specific penal laws of Malaysia, it's a tedious task, and there is a whole raft of things to be done before one gets arrested and is extradited to face the legal process in Malaysia.

"The request to Interpol, apart from seeking help to establish identity and the location of whereabouts, is predominantly a request to seek help in issuing a red notice," he explained to Sinar Daily.

On Tuesday, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the police would seek Interpol’s help to locate Jocely Chia, a US-based comedian who mocked the country and joked about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

He further explained that it was a procedure used by law enforcement agencies around the world to track down and temporarily detain a person in a foreign country pending extradition.

Based on a specific country's law, Salim further added that each enforcement agency that is subject to a red notice determines its worth.

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There are two fundamental requirements for extradition: the existence of an extradition treaty and the fact that the offence must be an extraditable offence, satisfying the double criminality requirement.

In order to fight international crimes, Malaysia has signed extradition treaties with countries like Australia, Thailand, and South Korea.

Lawyer Fatihah Jamhari also agreed with Salim’s statement, pointing out that this crime was committed on American soil.

"No crime was committed on Malaysian soil. Even though Interpol is an international network for police forces around the world, the services provided by Interpol aren't to investigate crimes.

"The crime still has to be investigated by the requesting country," Fatihah added.

Chia had drawn the ire of Malaysians on June 7, when a video clip of her routine at the Comedy Cellar in Manhattan, New York, went viral across social media.

Apart from the MH370 joke, Chia also quipped how Singapore became a first-world country, whereas Malaysia is still a developing country.

"Malaysia, what are you now, still a developing country? F--k you, Malaysia. Isn’t that the best breakup revenge?" she said.