An extradition request has been moved by the South African authorities against Indian origin Gupta brothers before the competent authorities of the UAE on Monday.
Atul Kumar Gupta and Rajesh Gupta, who are facing corruption charges in South Africa had fled to the UAE along with their brother Ajay Gupta, from where the two were arrested. Now South African authorities have placed a request for their extradition.
“Today a formal extradition application was submitted to the Central Authority in the United Arab Emirates. This is within the 60-day period from the date of arrest of the Gupta brothers, as set out in the extradition treaty between South Africa and the UAE.
“The application, submitted in both English and Arabic, addresses the general requirements for extradition, which, if met, would allow for the extradition to be granted under either the existing extradition treaty or the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), or both, ” read a letter issued by Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesperson for National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in South Africa.
She said a multi-disciplinary team within the NPA oversaw the legal aspect of the process and worked in a focused and well-coordinated manner with the office of the Director General in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, designated as the central authority (CA ) for extradition processes to prepare and finalize the application.
This work included consultation with legal counsels and meeting their counterparts in the UAE to ensure that the request for extradition met all the requirements of the bilateral treaty.
“The submission of the formal application for the arrest and extradition of the Gupta brothers is an important milestone in the NPA’s commitment to hold accountable the perpetrators and uphold the rule of law. It reaffirms our resolve to be the lawyers of the people and seek collective justice for our country.
“As this process unfolds, and the extradition application is heard in UAE courts, the NPA will continue to collaborate and support its counterparts in the UAE to ensure that the Gupta brothers are extradited to face justice in South Africa. This process could take several months , as the NPA we will continue with its commitment to deliver for impact,” the NPA spokesperson said.
What is the case?
The Gupta brothers were held in the UAE in June. They are facing corruption charges in South Africa for allegedly using their ties with former president Jacob Zuma for their own benefits. A judicial inquiry had been initiated into the matter in 2018. Soon after this, the Gupta brothers fled from South Africa along with their another brother Ajay Gupta to the UAE.
Gupta brothers, who are originally from UP’s Saharanpur, had been running a computer business in South Africa since 1997. The firm had a total turnover of around Rs 97 million. Initially, their firm’s name was Correct Marketing, which was later changed to Sahara Computer and Sahara System Private limited. In 2016, they became the seventh wealthiest person in South Africa. Their net worth had touched Rs 10.7 billion.
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