Practice Relating to Rule 50. Destruction and Seizure of Property of an Adversary
Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, punishes soldiers who “failing the obedience they owe to their superiors, burn or destroy buildings or other property”.
Venezuela’s Law on the State of Emergency (2001), which includes situations of internal and international armed conflict, states:
Having declared a state of emergency, the Executive will have the power to confiscate private objects and property that must be used to re-establish normality. A prior order by the President of the Republic or by the competent authority is necessary for every confiscation.
In 2001, in the Ballestas case, the Colombian Government requested the preventive detention and extradition of a Colombian citizen belonging to the armed group known as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) for the crimes of rebellion, kidnapping, wrongful death, seizure and diversion of aircraft. The Chamber of Criminal Appeals of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice held:
It is a firm and incontrovertible fact that political armed struggle must be governed by the laws of war. As a result, attacks against … private rights or the rights of individuals are absolutely unjustified, even where a political motive is claimed.
Thus: if such an attack against … private rights is carried out with such a violence and malicious intent that it causes unnecessary suffering, havoc and terror, it would [constitute the offence of] indiscriminate terrorism, namely [those acts] that are not selective when choosing their targets and expressly target the innocent.
Terrorism, and particularly indiscriminate terrorism, ignores the requirements of Humanitarian … law …
takes many forms, as it can be committed through several means. One is the kidnapping
[hijacking] of planes
, which is one of the acts of which … José María Ballestas Tirado
is accused (“extortive kidnapping”) in Colombia.
[emphasis in original]
The tribunal further held:
With regard to the offence of seizure and diversion of aircraft, the  Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, of which Venezuela and Colombia are Contracting States considers it as an offence of extreme gravity for the international community and provides in Article 8 that [it must be] included in every extradition treaty: as a result it is included in the … Bolivarian Extradition Agreement of [18 July] 1911 [signed by Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru].
In concluding on whether extradition can be granted, the tribunal held: “For the previously mentioned reasons, … [the tribunal] accepts the extradition of … José María Ballestas Tirado
… for the offences of … seizure and diversion of aircraft
(emphasis in original)