Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.

No. 478.]

Sir: I have already taken occasion to refer to the act pending in the Belgian Parliament touching extradition.

It became a law on the 5th ultimo, and I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of the same.

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By the first article the government may deliver up to foreign governments, on condition of reciprocity, any foreigner indicted, accused, or convicted by the courts of said countries for any of the numerous acts specified in the subsequent articles.

The manner of extradition, transit, provisional arrest, limitation, acts of Belgian citizens and of naturalized citizens, are treated in the following articles, and I beg to call the attention of the department to this important law, the more particularly in view of the fact that we have no extradition treaty with Belgium.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

Department of Justice.


Leopold II, King of the Belgians, to all present and to come, greeting:

The houses have adopted and we sanction what follows:

Article I.

The government may deliver up to the governments of foreign countries, on condition of reciprocity, any foreigner indicted, accused, or convicted by the courts of said countries, for any of the acts hereafter enumerated that may have been committed on their territory:

1. Murder, poisoning, parricide, infanticide, manslaughter, rape.

2. Arson.

3. Forgery, or counterfeiting public stock or bank notes, public or private titles, issuing or circulating such forged or counterfeit stocks, notes, or titles, forgery in writing or in telegraphic dispatches, and using such forged, counterfeit, or falsified dispatches, stock notes or titles.

4. Coining, including counterfeit and adulteration of coin, issuing or circulating counterfeit or adulterated coin, as well as fraud in the choice of samples for the verifying of the standard and weight of coin.

5. False witness and false declarations of appreciators or interpreters.

6. Robbery, swindling, peculation, embezzlement committed by public functionaries.

7. Fraudulent bankruptcy, and frauds committed in bankruptcies.

8. Associations of malefactors.

9. For threats of violence against persons or property, punishable by the pain of death, hard labor, or confinement.

10. Abortion.

11. Bigamy.

12. Acts of violence against individual liberty and the inviolability of the dwelling of persons.

13. Abduction, concealing, suppression, substitution, or supposition of children.

14. Exposing or abandoning children.

15. Abduction of minors.

16. Outrage on chastity committed with violence.

17. Outrage on chastity committed without violence on the person of a child of either sex, under 14 years of age.

18. Outrage against morals by exciting, facilitating, or habitually favoring to satisfy the passions of others; debauchery or corruption of minors of either sex.

19. Blows given, or wounds inflicted wilfully, with premeditation, or having caused a disease apparently incurable, a permanent disability of personal labor, the loss of the absolute use of an organ, or death without the intention of causing it.

20. Abuse of confidence, and deceit.

21. Tampering with witnesses, experts, or interpreters.

22. Perjury.

23. Counterfeiting or falsifying seals, stamps, and marks, using counterfeit or false seals, stamps, and marks; and using for hurtful purposes real seals, stamps, and marks.

24. Bribery of public functionaries.

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25. Destruction of buildings, steam engines, or telegraphic apparatus; destruction or damaging of tombs, monuments, works of art, documents or other papers; destruction or damaging of produce, merchandise, or other movable property, and opposition to the execution of public works.

26. Destruction or damaging of crops, plantations, trees, or grafts.

27. Destruction of agricultural implements, destruction or poisoning of cattle or other animals.

28. Abandoning by the captain, except in cases provided by the law, of a ship, or trading or fishing boat.

29. Running aground, loss, destruction by the captain or officers and crew, turning astray by the captain of a ship or trading or fishing boat, throwing overboard or destroying without necessity of the whole or part of the cargo, victuals or effects on board, false direction, borrowing without necessity on the body, victualing or equipping of the ship, pledging or selling the merchandise or victuals, or making use in the accounts of supposed damages or expenses, sale of the ship without special power except in the case of unnavigability, unloading merchandise without previous report, except in case of imminent peril, robbery committed on board, adulteration of victuals or merchandise committed on board by the mixture of noxious substances, violent attack or resistance against the captain by more than one-third of the crew, refusal to obey the captain or commanding officer for the safety of the ship or cargo, with blows and wounds, plot against the safety, liberty or authority of the captain, capture of the ship by the sailors or passengers by fraud or violence against the captain.

Article II.

Extradition shall only be granted on production either of the judgment or sentence of condemnation, or of the order of the chamber of council, of the decree of the court of indictment, or of the deed of prosecution proceeding from the competent judge, formally decreeing or lawfully committing the prisoner or accused before the repressive jurisdiction, the said documents delivered in the original or in authentic copy, and after having taken the opinion of the indicting chamber of the court of appeal in the jurisdiction of which the foreigner shall have been arrested. The trial shall be public unless the foreigner ask for closed doors.

The public accuser and the foreigner shall be heard; the latter may be assisted by counsel.

Within a fortnight after the reception of the documents, they shall be forwarded, with reasons in full, to the minister of justice.

Article III.

Extradition by means of transit over the Belgian territory may, nevertheless, be granted without taking the opinion of the indicting chamber, on the mere production in original or in authentic copy of one of the deeds of prosecution mentioned in the preceding article whenever it shall be required by a foreign state, for the advantage of a foreign state, both bound to Belgium by a treaty comprising the infraction giving rise to the demand of extradition, and when it shall not be forbidden by Article 6 of the law of October 1, 1833, and Article 7 of the present law.

Article IV.

The foreigner may be arrested provisionally in Belgium for one of the acts mentioned in Article 1, on the exhibition of a warrant issued by the competent foreign authority and rendered executory by the chamber of council of the tribunal of first instance of his place of residence or of the place where he may be found, and, in case of urgency, on the exhibition of a warrant issued by the judge of instruction of his place of residence or of the place where he may be found, and substantiated by an official notice given to the Belgian authorities by the authorities of the territory where the crime or offense has been committed. Nevertheless, in that case, he shall be set at liberty if, within the delay of ten days, reckoning from his arrest, when the latter shall have been operated at the request of the government of a contiguous country, and within the delay of three weeks, when of that of a distant country, he does not receive communication of the warrant, issued by the competent authority. After the order of arrest, the judge of instruction is authorized to proceed according to the rules prescribed by Articles 87 to 90 of the code of criminal instruction.

The foreigner may claim to be set at provisional liberty in cases wherein a Belgian enjoys that faculty, and under the same conditions. The claim shall be submitted to the chamber of council.

The chamber of council shall also decide, after hearing the foreigner, whether there be reason or not to transmit, wholly or in part, the papers and other objects seized to the foreign government asking for the extradition. It shall order the restitution of papers and other objects not directly connected with the act imputed to the accused.

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Article V.

The foreigner provisionally arrested shall be set at liberty if, within two months, he does not receive notice, either of a judgment or sentence of condemnation, or of an order of the chamber of council, a decree of the indicting chamber, or a deed of criminal prosecution issued by the competent judge, formally decreeing or lawfully committing the accused for trial before the repressive jurisdiction.

Article VI.

The treaties concluded, in virtue of the present law, shall be inserted in the Moniteur; they cannot be carried into effect until ten days after the date borne by that journal.

Article VII.

Extradition cannot take place if, since the imputed act, prosecution or condemnation, prescription of the action, or of the penalty is acquired according to the laws of Belgium.

Article VIII.

Articles 2 and 3 of the law of December 30, 1836, on the repression of crimes and offenses committed by Belgians abroad, are applicable to the infractions provided for by Article 1 of the present law.

Article IX.

They are likewise applicable to infractions in matter of forest, country, or fishery.

Article X.

The foreigner who, after committing, out of the territory of the kingdom, any of the infractions provided for by Article 1 of the law of December 30, 1836, and by Articles 1 and 9 of the present law, shall acquire or recover his quality of a Belgian citizen, may, if he is in Belgium, be there prosecuted, tried and punished according to the laws of the kingdom, within the limits determined by the said law of December 30, 1836.

Article XI.

The law of July 7, 1865, relative to foreigners, is moreover applicable to the foreigner residing in Belgium who has been prosecuted or condemned abroad for any of the infractions provided for by Article 1 of the present law.

Article XII.

The disposition of the law of October 1, 1833, with the exception of Article 6, are abrogated.

We promulgate the present law, order it to be sealed with the seal of the state, and published through the medium of the Moniteur.

Given at Brussels April 5. 1868.


By the King:

JULES BARD, The Minister of Justice.

Sealed with the seal of the state.

JULES BARD, The Minister of Justice.