In wake of Amanda Knox conviction, State Department clarifies extradition process

The State Department offered clarity regarding its role in extradition cases following a question at the daily press briefing on Friday regarding a possible Italian extradition request concerning American Amanda Knox, who was found guilty of murder by an Italian court at a retrial in Florence on Thursday.
Posted By JC Finley  |  Jan. 31, 2014 at 6:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State deputy spokesperson was asked Friday about whether America would extradite U.S. citizen Amanda Knox after Knox was found guilty of murder by an Italian court on Thursday.

Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf, responding to the question about Knox at the daily press briefing, said that the State Department is "monitoring the case" as it moves through the Italian judicial system but that any extradition request would be "private and confidential."

When pressed about the State Department's role in extradition cases, Harf maintained that "every extradition request is taken on a case-by-case basis," and offered to provide clarity on the legal role later in the day.

The Office of the Spokesperson issued a press release Friday evening that spells out the State Department's role in the extradition process.

The rules governing the U.S. extradition relationship with a foreign country are specified in the applicable extradition treaty.

The Department of State works very closely with the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs on extradition matters.

The Department of State’s responsibilities include:

-- In coordination with the Department of Justice, reviewing and processing requests to and from foreign governments for the extradition of fugitives and advising on obligations set out in applicable extradition treaties;

-- Making the final determination on whether to surrender a fugitive to a foreign country after a U.S. district judge or magistrate judge has determined, among other things, that the charge underlying the extradition is covered by the treaty and that the evidence presented is sufficient to sustain the charge; and

-- Carrying out consular visitation and other protective services for U.S. citizens incarcerated or detained overseas.

It is the policy of the Department not to comment on specific extradition requests, including whether a request has or has not been made in a particular case.

Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Italian national Rafaele Sollecito, were found guilty of the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007 at a retrial on Thursday. The guilty verdict overturned their 2011 acquittal that had allowed Knox to return to the United States. Knox did not attend Thursday's retrial in Florence.

[State Department]

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