It’s going to be a long process to get state capture suspects –Batohi
SA has submitted an extradition request for the Gupta brothers, Atul and Rajesh, in the UAE to be brought to SA following their arrest last month.
This was announced by NPA head Shamila Batohi on Monday, as the justice ministry briefed the nation on major extraditions processes that were currently underway.
Batohi said the request was submitted on Monday to the Central Authority in UAE, well within the 60 days deadline of August 2.
“The application was submitted in both English and Arabic and it addresses the general requirements of extradition, which if met would allow extradition to be granted under either the existing extradition treaty with the UAE or the United Nations convention against corruption,” she said.
Batohi said a multi-disciplinary team, led by legal experts, worked relentlessly to prepare the application. Some team members met their counterparts in the UAE earlier this month to ensure that the request meets the requirements of the bilateral treaty and is in line with the UAE domestic legislation.
“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 to uphold the rule of law. It reaffirms our resolve to be lawyers for the people and seek collective justice for our country.
“As this process unfolds and the extradition application is heard in the UAE courts, the NPA will continue to collaborate with its counterparts in the UAE to ensure that we do all that is necessary to get the Gupta brothers extradited and to face justice in SA,” Batohi said.
The Gutpa brothers were arrested in Dubai early last month not long after Interpol had issued red notices for them in February.
They are wanted for a case relating to procurement fraud involving R24.9m in the Free State. The money was paid between November 2011 and April 2012 by the Free State department of agriculture to Nulane Investment 204, a company owned and controlled by Iqbal Sharma.
Apart from this case, the state capture commission also recommended that more criminal charges be instituted against members of the Gupta family. In part 4 of the commission’s report made public in April, the commission said the NPA should consider prosecuting Rajesh “Tony” Gupta.
The commission said Rajesh must be charged for bribery or corruption emanating from his conduct in offering former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas R600m in exchange for agreeing to be finance minister and working with the family as its inside man.
Batohi warned that the process of getting the Gupta brothers back in SA could take months to conclude.