The Ministry of Justice will join the European convention on extradition in October to expand international cooperation in arresting and extraditing criminals who flee to European countries.
The ministry said that it will sign the Council of Europe’s Convention on Extradition no later than July.
Korea’s entry into the convention is expected within 90 days of signing.
By joining the convention, Korea will automatically share criminal information with 49 signatories ― 47 European countries, Israel and South Africa.
Korea will become the third non-Council member to join the convention, following Israel and South Africa.
“Korea has already signed individual extradition treaties with France, Spain, Bulgaria and South Africa, so the convention will add 45 new countries which will extradite criminals to Korea. Any crime involving these countries will be jointly investigated,” the ministry said in a press release.
“In 2007, the Justice Ministry expressed its intention to enter the convention and received unanimous invitation from its signatories. It reflects the international recognition of Korea’s criminal investigation system,” the ministry said.
Currently, the government has extradition treaties with 25 countries including Australia, the U.S., China and Japan.
Separately from the European extradition convention, the government will also sign the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters with the Council. The mutual assistance convention will enable Korean police to engage in technical international cases such as tracking secret deposits in Switzerland.
“Our entry into the two conventions is a warning to criminals. There’s no use in running away or hiding anything. The Korean police dragnet will cover almost all major countries in the world,” the ministry said.
By Bae Ji-sook (email@example.com