Abu Salem extradition: India moves Portugal SC

India has approached Portugal`s Supreme Court challenging its HC order which had terminated the extradition of underworld don Abu Salem for breach of agreement by India by slapping charges which attract death penalty.

New Delhi: India has approached Portugal`s
Supreme Court challenging its High Court order which had
terminated the extradition of underworld don Abu Salem for
breach of agreement by India by slapping charges which attract
death penalty.

India, in its appeal before the Portuguese Supreme Court,
has said the interpretation of the High Court of the trial in
various courts of the country was not correct.

In its affidavit, India has assured that the fresh
charges levelled against Salem, a key accused in the 1993
Mumbai blasts case, attracted less jail term than the offences
for which he had been extradited, official sources said here

In its plea, which will soon come up for hearing, India
has asked for a stay on the Portuguese High Court order, the
sources said.

Lisbon High Court had on September 19 allowed the plea of
the extradited gangster, being tried in eight criminal cases
including the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, that he be sent back
to Portugal.

Salem, a gangster extradited from Portugal in November
2005, was charged with MCOCA for allegedly making extortion
calls to Delhi-based businessman Ashok Gupta in 2002,
demanding Rs five crore as protection money.

The Portuguese court had said that in view of the new
charges against Salem which entail death penalty, the
authorisation granted for his extradition has been terminated
as it violated the principle of speciality.

India had given an `executive assurance` to Portugal that
Salem would not be given death penalty or charged with any
section of law which entails jail for more than 25 years, once
he is extradited.

If India fails to convince the Portuguese judiciary,
Salem may have to be sent back to jail in Lisbon.

The then NDA government had given an executive assurance
to Portugal in 2005 that after Salem`s extradition he would be
tried only in eight cases and will not be awarded imprisonment
exceeding 25 years. It was also vowed that the gangster would
not be tried under any special law.

Salem`s counsel had approached the Portuguese High Court
after the Supreme Court here dismissed his plea last year and
upheld the a designated TADA court`s decision to frame
additional charges against him for the 1993 Mumbai blasts in
addition to the other grave charges for which he was
extradited by Portugal government to face trial in India.

Salem, the prime accused along with underworld don Dawood
Ibrahim in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and his girlfriend
Monica Bedi were extradited to India on November 11, 2005,
after a torturous legal process in Portugal lasting three

The extradition of Salem, who is also wanted in various
cases including the murder of noted film producer Gulshan
Kumar, came after an assurance by the Indian government to
Portugal that he would not be given death penalty, an
important requirement in extradition proceedings in Europe.

The underworld don had been extradited to India to face
trial in eight cases which included the serial blasts, two
cases of forgery of passports in Lucknow, three cases of
extortion in Delhi and two murder cases in Mumbai which
included murder of Ajit Dewani, secretary of Bollywood actress
Manisha Koirala.

Salem`s was the first successful extradition from any
European country to India involving a person accused of
committing heinous crimes.


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