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Australia to form extradition relationship with Lebanon.



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Media Release

SENATOR THE HON. CHRISTOPHER ELLISON

Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator for Western Australia

E127/03 15 September 2003

Australia to form extradition relationship with Lebanon

Australia will make regulations recognising Lebanon as an ‘extradition country’, which could facilitate a response to any request for extradition from Lebanon, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison announced today.

“It is understood that recently Lebanon issued warrants for the arrest of Belal Saadallah Khazaal and Maher Khazaal for alleged terrorist activities in Lebanon, although to date there has not been any formal request from Lebanon for their extradition,” Senator Ellison said.

Senator Ellison said that the making of these regulations did not pre-judge the Khazaal brothers in relation to any pending investigation, but is part of Australia’s ongoing commitment to the fight against terrorism.

“Once the regulations are made, Lebanon may make a formal extradition request for the Khazaal brothers. If a request is received, Australia will follow the procedures set out in the Extradition Act to determine whether the Khazaal brothers should be surrendered to Lebanon.

“Any regulations made would be subject to the provisions of the Extradition Act, which included among other things safeguards against the death penalty, torture and politically motivated prosecution,” Senator Ellison said.

Media inquiries: Michael Barrett Ph 02/6277 7260 or 0419 424 359