National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Director Shamila Batohi on Monday confirmed that a formal extradition application has been submitted to the Central Authority in the United Arab Emirates for the extradition of the Gupta brothers.
The brothers were arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month. They are wanted by the South African authorities to answer to charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
“The application, submitted in both English and Arabic, addresses the general requirements for extradition which, if met, would allow the extradition to be granted under either the existing Extradition Treaty or the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), or both,” Batohi said.
Addressing the media in Pretoria, Batohi said a multi-disciplinary team within the NPA led the legal aspect of the process and worked in a focused and well-coordinated manner with the Office of the Director General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, designated as the Central Authority (CA) for extradition processes to prepare and finalise the application.
“The NPA team, in close collaboration with the office of the CA, worked relentlessly and focused on complying with legal requirements of the Extradition Treaty and UNCAC,” Batohi said.
Batohi said the submission of the formal application request for the arrest and extradition of the Gupta brothers is an important milestone in the NPA’s commitment to hold accountable perpetrators of State Capture and uphold the rule of law.
“It reaffirms our resolve to be the lawyers of the people and seek collective justice for our country,” Batohi said.
She explained that as the 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.
“The country demands this of us, and we are ready to keep moving to bring justice,” she said.
Speaking at the same media briefing, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said he is confident that the teams handling the extradition of the Gupta brothers, among other high-profile accused persons, are up to the task.
“The matter is now with the central authority in the UAE, who are then going to process it in their jurisdictions, which will obviously include processes and courts to determine whether the Gupta brothers are extraditable to South Africa and when a court has made that ruling. It will then be for the Minister of justice in the UAE to make the decision," Lamola said. – SAnews.gov.za