Sunday, May 17, 2009

CONSIDERING THAT there's no such thing as the crime of piracy in the Spanish criminal law, isn't this akin to extraordinary rendition?
Spain says 13 suspected Somali pirates captured in the lawless Gulf of Aden have been handed over to Kenya for a possible trial.

Defense Minister Carme Chacon says the suspects were transferred under international agreements signed in March by the European Union and Kenya. The handover took place Saturday at the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
I've long forgotten my international law classes but I think such an agreement like the one between the EU and Kenya would be valid, at least as far Spain is concerned, only if the activity was a crime in Spain, which is not. And should not be done just as a transfer under some signed agreement. It should be done properly: that's what extradition is for. So, any expert can correct me if I'm wrong: would this be in fact an extraordinary rendition like those done by evil Bush? I guess it means that the Spanish crusading judges can start investigating!
UPDATE. Welcome Instapundit readers; however, I think Glenn didn't plan to put this link in that particular post (UPDATE: No, he didn't). As you know, he often schedules items to go up while he's sleeping, and I assume this topic will be in another one, going public in a bit. Since he's offline I can't alert him instantly, but he'll notice as soon as he logs in this morning. FYI, I believe the post he meant to link to was this one at PowerLine.

UPDATE II. All fixed: Glenn links here from this item. Thanks!

UPDATE III. William C. Hicklin emails: "Actually there shouldn't be a problem in this case, because under the 1958 Geneva Convention on the High Seas (codifying customary international law and earlier treaties), pirates are hostis humani generis and subject to universal jurisdiction: pirates apprehended in international waters may be tried and punished by any nation under its own laws.

However, many nations no longer have laws against piracy: Belgium, for instance. I don't know about Spain.  In any event, Kenya is willing to prosecute and jail them, and has concurrent jurisdiction with every other signatory of GCHS."

So according to this reader, whether piracy is a crime in Spain or not (it isn't)  is irrelevant, as lomg as any nation is willing to try the guys.