“Snowden faces arduous path to asylum”

July 9, 2013

Douglas McNabb was quoted in this MSNBC article dated July 8, 2013:

By: Ned Resnikoff

“For Edward Snowden, the easy part might be over.

After spending weeks in limbo at the Moscow’s Sheremtyevo airport and requesting asylum from at least 21 countries, the NSA leaker has found three options for safe haven: Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. Now he just needs to get from Eastern Europe to Latin America. Easier said than done when the most powerful country on Earth intends to have you extradited.

If Snowden wants to take up residence in any of the the aforementioned three countries, he’ll need to find a route there which doesn’t include layovers in the airports of American allies, a category which includes nearly every European government. One possible alternative is a direct flight from Moscow to Havana, with a connecting flight to his future residence. But even then, he would most likely have to cross through American airspace or the territory of one of its allies.

“If you’re going to take a commercial flight, I would guess he needs to do a flight that isn’t going to go over U.S. or friendly territory,” said international criminal defense lawyer Douglas McNabb. Otherwise, America or its ally in the region may deny the plane access to its airspace, or even force it to come to ground.

Former CIA analyst Allen Thomson mapped out a hypothetical route to Venezuela that would only take Snowden’s plane through international waters.

“Fly north to the Barents Sea, thence over to and through the Denmark Strait,” he told Foreign Policy. ”Continue south, steering clear of Newfoundland until getting to the east of the Windward Islands. Fly through some convenient gap between islands and continue on to Caracas. Not more than 11,000 km all in all, which is within the range of a number of charter-able commercial aircraft.”

Of course, a specially chartered commercial flight wouldn’t be cheap. And the United States may still pursue him over international waters.

“The U.S. has a very aggressive approach with regards to international waters, as well as international airspace,” said McNabb. “So the U.S. could treat that as their jurisdiction.” American law regarding special maritime territorial jurisdiction is so broad that “one definition in there says that anywhere there is guano, the U.S. has jurisdiction.”

“[Snowden's] best option is if the Venezuelan government wants to pick him up in a private plane,” said Robert Anello, an attorney who deals with extradition cases. A plane owned by the Venezuelan government is sovereign Venezuelan territory, and so trying to force it down over international airspace would be far riskier than getting in the way of a commercial flight.

“That would be quite an international incident, and I think you’d see other countries sending their jets to protect the Venezuelan jet,” said McNabb. If the Venezuelan plane tried to enter the airspace of an American ally, the situation would be even more predictable.

“If France, for example, wanted to deny the Venezuelans with Snowden on board from flying over France’s airspace, they certainly could do that,” said McNabb. If Venezuela chose to enter France’s airspace anyway, “do the French have the right to send up jets and force the plane down? Yeah, I think they could. Could Venezuela treat that as an act of war? Probably. So it could get really very messy.”

Should Snowden successfully land in a country where he has been granted asylum, he may receive little more than a temporary reprieve. He would only be safe in that country so long as the government continued to guarantee his security.

“The difficulty with the kind of countries you’re talking about is they are countries that have some kind of political upheaval, and what may be good for you today may not be necessarily be a long-term solution,” said Anello. For example, American citizen Robert Vesco was able to hide from criminal charges in Costa Rica from 1973 to 1978, be he was eventually forced to go on the run again.

“He ultimately died penniless in a Cuban jail,” said Anello.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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U.S. Loses Bid to Limit Disclosure in Dotcom Extradition

August 20, 2012

Bloomberg Business Week on August 16, 2012 released the following:

By Joe Schneider

“The U.S. lost a bid to limit the amount of information it must turn over to Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom, accused of orchestrating the biggest copyright infringement in the country’s history, in his fight against extradition from New Zealand.

New Zealand High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann today rejected a U.S. request to review a district court judge’s order to turn over evidence relating to Dotcom’s indictment, including all records obtained in connection with covert operations undertaken by agents involved in the investigation.

“The NZ High Court ruling in @KimDotcom case citing Bill of Rights protects Kim’s rights and the rights of all New Zealand residents,” Ira Rothken, a lawyer for Dotcom, wrote on Twitter following the ruling.

Dotcom, 38, was indicted in what U.S. prosecutors dubbed a “Mega Conspiracy,” accusing his file-sharing website of generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds from the exchange of pirated film, music, book and software files. He faces as long as 20 years in prison for each of the racketeering and money-laundering charges in the indictment, with the U.S. seeking his extradition for a trial in Virginia.

The amount of documentation ordered to be turned over to Dotcom was unprecedented in the country or anywhere else for extradition cases, the U.S. had said.

“Disclosure in relation to extradition cases is extremely limited,” prosecutors had said, according to a summary of the arguments written by Winkelmann.

Extradition hearings are “essentially criminal in character” and the accused must be assured a fair hearing, according to New Zealand’s Bill of Rights, Winkelmann wrote.

“The more significant the rights affected, the more stringent the procedural rules designed to maintain the fairness of the process are likely to be,” the judge wrote.

The case is between United States of America and Kim Dotcom. Civ 2012-404-3026. High Court of New Zealand (Auckland).”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


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