NPA boss Shamila Batohi heads to UAE in bid to extradite Gupta family - report

2019-12-15 16:16
Ajay and Aptul Gupta. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

Ajay and Aptul Gupta. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

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Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and National Prosecuting Authority boss Shamila Batohi will form part of a delegation travelling to Abu Dhabi to persuade the United Emirates to extradite the controversial Gupta brothers.

According to the Sunday Times, Lamola along with Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu will lead the delegation in talks with the UAE government in an attempt to have the Gupta family repatriated.  

The ministers will apparently be joined by Batohi, the head of the NPA's investigative directorate, Hermione Cronje, head of the Special Investigating Unit, Andy Mothibi and Robert McBride - who is the head of ethics for the department of public administration.

READ | Time up for the Guptas? Parliament approves extradition treaty with UAE

The newspaper reported that the delegation will officially be in Abu Dhabi to attend a UN convention against corruption but said there were plans are afoot to hold meetings with the UAE government on the sidelines.

These meetings aim to have the UAE sign off on the extradition of the Guptas to South Africa, so that they can be held accountable for the looting of billions of rands in public funds, Sunday Times reported.

Lamola's spokesperson, Chrispin Piri would not confirm whether meetings had been planned with UAE officials in relation to the Guptas but did say that a media briefing would be held on Monday to update the public on important developments.

READ MORE | SA and UAE sign extradition treaty

In October this year, News24 reported that Lamola had asked the UAE to finalise the ratification of treaties, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

This followed sanctions against the Gupta family and their associate Salim Essa by the US Treasury.

In a statement, the US Department of State said the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control had "designated Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa for their involvement in corruption in South Africa pursuant to executive order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act."

ALSO READ | US blacklists Gupta family over filling their pockets with ill-gotten gains

Following the announcement by the US, Lamola revealed that seven countries have been approached for mutual legal assistance, in an attempt to have the Guptas extradited to face state capture allegations.

The countries approached were India, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Switzerland, Mauritius, Hong Kong, the US and China.

In November 2018, Parliament ratified the extradition treaty with the UAE, but News24 is not aware of any new developments since.

- Compiled by Alex Mitchley.

Read more on:    gupta family  |  pretoria  |  uae  |  state capture
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