Re Otto F

JurisdictionAustria
CourtCourt of Appeal of Vienna (Austria)
Austria, Court of Appeal, Vienna
Re Otto F.

The individual in international law Extradition Conditions of Extraditable crimes Whether offences punishable only by fines extraditable General rules of international law Austro-German Extradition Treaty 1958 European Convention on Extradition 1957 The law of Austria

Summary: The facts.The Court of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht), Vienna heard the case of Otto F. whose extradition had been requested by the Federal Republic of Germany for, among other things, the enforcement of a fine imposed on him.

Held: According to the general rules of international law, offences punishable only by fines did not constitute extraditable offences. Under the Austro-German Extradition Treaty of 1958, the parties agreed to grant extradition only for the purpose of prosecution in the case of offences punishable by deprivation of liberty, and the carrying out of such sentences. The so-called accessory extraditionprovided for in the said agreement could not be interpreted to cover fines as well. Finally, such an interpretation of the Austro-German Extradition Agreement was in accordance with the European Convention on Extradition, which did not itself provide for extradition for the enforcement of fines.

The following is the text of the relevant part of the judgment:

The extradition of Otto F. is also being requested for the purpose of collecting a fine. According to the generally recognized rules of international law (Article 9 B-VG [Federal Constitutional Law]) fines are not subject to extradition proceedings (decree of the Federal Minister of Justice of 6 April 1960, JMZ1. 80. 781/60, cited by DrechslerLinke, p. 63 and by GebertPallinPfeiffer I/1, p. 49). The enforcement of a fine does not call for the authorization of extradition because the requesting State is entitledirrespective of the institution of extraditionto appropriate at any time an amount equivalent to that of the relevant fine from the offenders' property, provided such property exists within the territory of the requesting State. If no property is available in the State concerned there is nothing to be gained by extraditing the person for the purpose of enforcing the fine. However, in cases where the offender does own assets in the requesting State, the movables found on him on his arrest are as a rule handed over to the requesting State in any event, in the course of the normal restitution of property (sachauslieferung) at the time when the offender is extradited. The...

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