PETALING JAYA: The absence of an extradition treaty between Malaysia and China means that any legal process to bring fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, back to the country will be a long, drawn-out process.
Constitutional lawyer Surendra Ananth noted that although there was no existing extradition treaty between the two countries, Malaysia could still put in such a request for Jho Low.
However, Surendra, who is the Bar Council's constitutional law committee co-chair, said that it would be a long and tedious process.
He said that under China's extradition law, authorities here will have to make a request to China's Foreign Affairs Ministry to extradite Jho Low (pic).
He added that certain conditions must be met – such as the extradition must be an offence in both countries, punishable with imprisonment of more than one year.
"The request must be accompanied with evidence of the offence.
"The request will then be examined by the Higher People's Court of China and can then be reviewed by the Supreme People's Court of China," he said, adding that Jho Low has the right to be heard at both levels of the courts.
Surendra said that even if the Supreme People's Court approved the request, the China State Council has to then decide whether to grant the extradition request.
Surendra said that Jho Low would likely challenge the extradition process at every stage.
On Thursday (Sept 27), Pirme Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia is trying to seek the return of Jho Low from China using "private efforts".
Dr Mahathir, who was speaking at a meeting with the renowned US Council on Foreign Relations, noted that Malaysia has no extradition treaty with China.