If a villain were to commit a murder in Norway, which has no statute of limitations for murder, but managed to evade the police and escape to another country - how would extradition work? This assumes that the villain successfully stayed under the radar, until the statute of limitations for murder in the country they escaped to expired, but they are in a country which has an extradition treaty with Norway.

As a random example: Portugal has a statute of limitations of 15 years, after which even the alleged child killer that kidnapped and murdered Madeleine McCann cannot be charged. If they escaped Norway to Portugal but stayed hidden for 15 years would they be extradited back to Norway?


Crimes are prosecuted either where they were committed, or where the harm was intentionally caused, or both.[1] The statute of limitations that applies is the statute of limitations in the country where the crime is prosecuted. Other statutes of limitations for crimes are irrelevant.

Generally speaking, if a crime is still prosecutable in the place where it is committed and is a serious felony, an extradition treaty will require the country where the suspect is located to be extradited to the country where the crime was committed and the country where the crime was committed (in this case Norway), goes through the proper channels under the extradition treaty. (There are exceptions in death penalty cases, but neither of these countries have the death penalty.)

The statute of limitations for murder in Portugal would not protect someone who committed a murder in Norway.

Also, even if there was a statute of limitations in Norway (say it was an armed robbery not resulting in serious bodily injury instead), most countries don't count time that a suspect spends outside the country fleeing law enforcement against the statute of limitations.

[1] There is an obscure exception to this for what amount to crimes against humanity that is not applicable in the case presented by the question.

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