One of the biggest scandals of the 2016 Summer Olympic games was the incident involving four U.S. swimmers, the most notable of the group being Ryan Lochte. After the conclusion of the swimming portion of the games, Ryan Lochte came forward with a story about how he, along with three other swimmers, were robbed at gunpoint. The overall story proved to be a fabrication, as shown by security footage.
Under Special Part Title 11, Chapter 3, Article 340 Brazil’s Penal it is a crime to incite the use of authorities based on communicating the occurrence of a crime that the individual is aware never happened. However, according to a Brazilian attorney, Deborah Srour, that crime only occurs when you file a report with the police. Ryan Lochte and the other swimmers were never the ones to go the police to file the report. The authorities sought them out. In addition, Ryan Lochte’s legal team alleges that he never made false statements to the police.
The current legal issue that the United States faces in this ordeal is whether or not they will decide to extradite Ryan Lochte, if demanded by Brazil. Ryan Lochte was the only one of the four swimmers who left Brazil before the Brazilian authorities stepped in. Two swimmers were deemed witnesses and the other swimmer was required to pay $11,000 in fines. Under the United States-Brazilian International Extradition Treaty enforced in 1964, the two countries are bound to grant extradition for specific crimes. Where nothing in the treaty would support a false police report being ground for extradition, a claim for vandalism of the scene would be an offense covered by the treaty.
The United States will have to assess Lochte’s initial claim, the legitimacy of a vandalism claim, and the possible obstruction of justice when deciding to grant extradition. If the U.S. determines the swimmers never committed a crime, they will probably deny the extradition of Lochte.