S.Africa to appeal judgement by UAE court on extradition of Gupta brothers

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Johannesburg, April 8

South Africa will appeal the decision by a court of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to decline the extradition of the Indian-origin Gupta brothers to be tried in the country for fraud and money laundering, said Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola.

Lamola made the remarks on Friday at a virtual media briefing on updates about the extradition of Rajesh and Atul Gupta, reports Xinhua news agency.

The brothers are also accused of influencing former President Jacob Zuma to appoint individuals to certain cabinet and government posts to facilitate corruption.

The extradition was denied by a UAE court on February 13, and South Africa was informed on April 5, according to the Minister.

"The reasons provided for denying our request are of a technical nature and fly in the face of the assurances given by Emirati authorities that our requests meet their requirements," said Lamola.

"This approach is inconsistent with Article 17 of the UN Convention Against Corruption, to which both nations are a signatory. Article 17 places a clear requirement on state parties to obtain clarity on a specific matter before refusing an extradition request."

The UAE court ruled that the arrest warrant relating to fraud was cancelled, Lamola said.

On the charge of money laundering, the UAE court ruled the crime in question was alleged to have been committed in the country and South Africa, and they have the jurisdiction to prosecute that, according to Lamola, who added that his government would appeal against the decision.

--IANS

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