‘We’ve done everything possible’, says Lamola on extraditing Gupta brothers

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Justice minister Ronald Lamola says his department has done everything possible for the extradition of the Gupta brothers and the issue is out of his hands.

Justice minister Ronald Lamola says said the ball is in the UAE central authority’s court to determine whether the Gupta brothers are extradited to SA. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

A formal application for the extradition of Rajesh and Atul Gupta from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been submitted by SA to the UAE’s central authority.

The brothers are wanted in connection with fraud, corruption and money laundering in SA.

Speaking on 702, Lamola said the ball is in the UAE central authority’s court to determine whether the brothers are extradited to SA.

He said once a decision has been made, it will be up to the justice minister in the UAE to make the final decision.

“From our side, we have done everything practically possible in terms of the extradition treaty, which requires us to follow certain requirements and comply, which we have done,” said Lamola.

“So far there are good mutual diplomatic relations between SA and the UAE and we don’t see anything that could prevent a decision for the Gupta brothers to be extradited to SA.”

The state capture-accused Gupta brothers were arrested in Dubai in June after Interpol issued red notices for them in February. They remain under arrest in Dubai after their bail applications were denied.

Lamola said a provisional trial date for the brothers was set for January next year.

“On July 18 2022, a request was received from the National Director of Public Prosecutions [Shamila Batohi] for the extradition of the Gupta brothers from the UAE to SA to stand trial on charges of fraud and money laundering in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and corruption contrary of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act,” he said.

ActionSA appointed legal representatives to monitor proceedings after the brothers were arrested.

“We remain optimistic the arrests will lead to the extradition of the Gupta brothers, the extraction of further evidence against others involved in state capture, the incarceration of all individuals involved and the seizing of assets to recoup the losses to our country,” said ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba.

He said legal teams were placed on a watching brief and will monitor every step of the process.

“We have seen, time and again, how leaders in government have done what is right for the ANC and not for the people of SA. We have also seen a tendency for criminal justice matters to be treated like internal issues of the ANC,” he said.

“It is for this reason we will combine our welcoming of this news with a commitment to all South Africans that we will watch these proceedings very closely.”

Mashaba said in the event the politics of the ANC interfere with justice in the matter, ActionSA will be the first to approach the courts to hold the organs of state accountable.

TimesLIVE

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