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Extradition of Vietnamese citizen charged with approptiation of real estate loans denied

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

By a unanimous decision, the Second Chamber of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) denied on Tuesday (12) the extradition request of the Vietnamese citizen Xuan Quyen Nguyen, accused of criminal appropriation of loans in his country, while acting as director of a real estate company between 2006 and 2007. The Chamber ruled in the Trial of Extradition (EXT) 1504, filed by the government of Vietnam, that there are no elements to frame the conduct as a crime under Brazilian law.

The extraditee was accused in Vietnam of the crime of "abuse of trust for property ownership," provided in Article 140 of the country's Criminal Code. According to the rapporteur's vote, Justice Gilmar Mendes, in the extradition trial, there is no evidence that the conduct falls under the most similar crimes as defined by Brazilian legislation, emblezzment (Article 168 of the Brazilian Penal Code) or swindling (Article 171) . Thus, for the Justice, the requirement of double criminality, that is, that the conduct is considered a crime in both jurisdictions, was not confirmed in the case.

Criminal justice system

In voting according to the rapporteur, Justice Celso de Mello also mentioned another plea brought by the Public Defender of the Union (DPU), according to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a single party State that selects its judges and is subject to strict control by party authorities.

The fact is demonstrated by demonstrations by international organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, indicating a lack of respect for human rights and the exercise of fundamental freedoms in the country. "The criminal justice system does not have sufficient and necessary functional independence to act," said senior Justice.
In support of his position, he also cited STF's case-law, of his rapporteurship, which denied the extradition requested by China by understanding it as a totalitarian State, in which there is no parity of arms between prosecution and defense. The Chinese judicial system accepts the retroactive application of more burdensome criminal penalties, even to impose capital punishment, the Justice said.

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