For the extradition of the Gupta brothers from the United Arab Emirates, South Africa submits a request

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The Gupta brothers are accused of using their relationship with former President Zuma for financial gain

Johannesburg:

The South African government said on Monday it had submitted a formal extradition request to the United Arab Emirates for Rajesh Gupta and Atul Gupta of the wealthy Indian-born brothers of the Gupta family.

The two brothers, along with their older brother Ajay, have been in exile in Dubai since the network closed in on them three years ago for embezzling billions of rand from public companies, allegedly by abusing their proximity to former President Jacob Zuma.

“This (request) is within 60 days from the date of arrest of the Gupta brothers (in Dubai) as stated in the extradition treaty between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates,” said said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in a statement. .

The application was reportedly delayed for technical reasons, as it had to be submitted in both English and Arabic, the official language of Dubai.

In July, the South African government announced that the United Arab Emirates had arrested Rajesh and Atul, two of three wealthy Indian brothers from the Gupta family, who were at the center of political corruption under former South African President Zuma. .

The Gupta brothers are accused in South Africa of using their relationship with former President Zuma to profit financially and influence the appointments of senior officials, accusations they have vigorously denied.

The NPA said it meets general extradition requirements which, if met, would allow extradition to be granted under the existing extradition treaty or the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), or both.

“A multi-disciplinary team within the NPA led the legal side of the process and worked in a focused and well-coordinated manner with the Office of the Director General of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development, designated as the Central Authority (CA ) for extradition processes to prepare and finalize the request.

“This work included consultations with legal counsel and some team members meeting with their counterparts in the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, to ensure that the extradition request met all the requirements of the bilateral treaty, that ‘it was in line with UAE national laws, and to build trust with law enforcement partners,’ NPA said.

The Authority described the submission of the formal request for the arrest and extradition of the Gupta brothers as “an important step in the NPA’s commitment to hold perpetrators of state capture accountable and uphold state by right”.

“This reaffirms our resolve to be advocates for the people and to seek collective justice for our country. As this process unfolds and the extradition request is heard in the courts of the United Arab Emirates, the NPA will continue to collaborate and support their counterparts in the United Arab Emirates to ensure that the Gupta brothers are extradited to face justice in South Africa,” the NPA said.

The Gupta family, originally from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, entered South Africa by establishing a shoe store in the early 1990s.

They quickly expanded to include IT, media and mining companies, most of which have now been sold or closed.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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