Guyana signs onto Caricom Arrest Warrant Treaty

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Guyana has ratified the Caricom Arrest Warrant Treaty by becoming the latest three signatories to the agreement.

Following in the footsteps of Barbados and The Bahamas, Guyana added its signature to the treaty which had required three signatures for its ratification.

State Minister Joseph Harmon made the announcement on Thursday during his post-cabinet press briefing, saying that Guyana was happy about the prospects of the new agreement.

Harmon explained that the purpose of the revised treaty is to establish within CARICOM a system of arrest and surrender.

It will also allow for the conducting of criminal prosecution for an applicable offense or executing a custodial sentence where the requested person has fled from justice after being sentenced for an applicable offense.

An applicable offense means an offense for which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for at least one year.

The Caricom Arrest Warrant Treaty simplifies the procedure of returning fugitives to the country where charges have been laid.

Recognizing that the precious extradition framework among members states was complex, costly and limited the Heads of Government agreed to allow for a system of surrender of persons between judicial authorities of member states.

The new treaty has removed the complexity, costs, and potential for delay inherent in the previous extradition procedures between and among some member states and establishing a more efficient system of the surrender of persons among all member states.

Other Caricom member states are expected to sign the Treaty this year which was placed on the table at the 38th Heads of Government meeting in July 2017.

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