• Monday, March 27, 2023


Here is why Gupta brothers’ extradition to South Africa hangs in balance

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By: Shubham Ghosh

The extradition of the Gupta brothers from the UAE to South Africa hangs in balance following a setback for the state in a trial which is the basis for the application of the business brothers.

According to a report by South African daily The Sunday Times, the Nulane Trial, the first state capture case to go to the judiciary has tilted in favour of the accused after the bulk of disputed documentary evidence that the state handed over was ruled inadmissible.

Rajesh and Atul Gupta have remained in custody in Dubai, UAE, since July 2022 following an application by the South African authorities to extradite them in connection with the Nulane case.

According to Llewellyn Curlewis, a law expert from the University of Pretoria, the Guptas may use the outcome of the trial to get the application for their extradition dismissed. He warned that the state now has a big task in hand to secure convictions since the bulk of the evidence has been disregarded and the charges against the Indian-born brothers no longer looked robust.

“f this is the type of case the state wants to bring against them, if I were them (the Guptas) I would volunteer to come and appear because it would be done and dusted very quickly for them to get an acquittal,” Curlewis was quoted as saying by The Sunday Times.

However, the chances for their extradition are not completely lost since there are probably other dockets where the duo can be implicated, the daily report added.

“The test to be applied for an extradition has nothing to do with whether they will ultimately be found guilty or not. It’s only indicative of the possible strength of the state’s case against them,” Curlewis told the daily.

When asked about the latest occurrences in the court and their impact on the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) bid to get the brothers extradited, Sindisiwe Seboka, spokesperson of the NPA’s Investigating Directorate refused to say much saying they would respond at an appropriate time.

Five of the six accused gave indications that they would apply for the charges against them to be removed as they believe that the state has zero chance of securing a conviction, The Sunday Times report added.

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