A meeting being billed as a summit was held Thursday to discuss plans to apprehend international fugitives wanted for committing serious crimes in Illinois. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sat down with the U.S. attorney and others to discuss the problem of criminal defendants being bonded out, then fleeing the country.
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Durbin is pushing for the U.S. Department of Justice to work closer with state and local law enforcement agencies to resolve communication problems that have resulted in difficulty apprehending the fugitives. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says part of the problem is financial, as extradition documents must be translated at a cost of thousands of dollars. In addition, some crimes committed in Illinois are not considered crimes in other countries. She points to one case where an Indian national had sex with an underage girl, then fled to India. Officials in India refuse to extradite him because they did not consider his action criminal. Durbin is asking judges to give more thought on setting bond, by either denying bond or setting bond at a higher level.