235.11 B 76/94

The Chargé in Paraguay (Dickson) to the Secretary of State

No. 929

Sir: I have the honor to refer to this Legation’s despatch No. 890 of September 23rd and in connection therewith beg to transmit herewith enclosed a copy of a translation of a letter addressed to me by Dr. Eusebio Ayala, with reference to the treaty of extradition existing between the United States and Paraguay.

[Page 630]

The communication in question was written in response to an expressed desire on my part, that Dr. Ayala be good enough to explain the exact meaning of the translation in Spanish of Article II paragraph 19, and in order to make the two texts coincide, I respectfully suggest that the Department observe the notations of Dr. Ayala and instruct me with reference to such disposition as it may care to make in the premises.

I have the further honor to transmit herewith enclosed a Spanish text of the Treaty of Extradition between Paraguay and Spain9 as referred to in the translation submitted of Dr. Ayala’s letter.

I have [etc.]

Samuel S. Dickson

Dr. Eusebio Ayala to the Chargé in Paraguay (Dickson)

My Dear Mr. Dickson:

. . . . . . . . .

In the case of Article II No. 19 of the Treaty it has not been possible to make the two texts coincide. Perjury is not punishable according to the Paraguayan Code and its inclusion for Paraguay would be absolutely worthless. An offence greatly resembling perjury was substituted; namely, false testimony, but this brings up another question; a case of extradition for perjury could not be attended to by the Paraguayan Courts because the Spanish text does not mention perjury, but instead, false testimony, and the Courts have to apply exclusively the National text.

The offence of perjury is more comprehensive than that of false testimony. The former includes any false declaration made before the authority under oath and false testimony is a false declaration before justice. According to the Paraguayan Code false testimony is classified as a crime against the administration of justice.

In order to make the two texts coincide, it would be necessary to change the English text, changing the word “perjury” for an expression equivalent to “false testimony”.

The Paraguayan Government has observed these objections or difficulties, which are difficult to overcome, especially in bilingual treaties, and in order to make them clear, has been thinking of changing the structure of the treaties, by omitting the enumeration of offences which is the cause of the difficulties.

In accordance with this criterion, the undersigned signed with the Ambassador of Spain the Treaty of June 23rd, 1921 [1919?], Article [Page 631] II of which literally said: [“] In accordance with the clauses of this treaty, the facts that authorize the delivery of persons accused and sentenced will be: I. As regards the presumed delinquents, the offences which according to the penal law of the requesting nation are subject to a punishment, causing privation of liberty, not less than two years or other equivalent punishment; 2. As regards the sentenced delinquents, such offences as are punishable within one year of the same punishment as a maximum.”

This form, or another similar one, in my judgement, is the best way to avoid any conflicts due to the lack of perfect coincidence between the two texts.

Yours very truly,

Eusebio Ayala
  1. Not printed.