'State has engaged some of SA's top legal experts to expedite Gupta extradition'

FILE: Anti-Zuma protesters carried placards addressing the former president's alleged ties to the Gupta family during protests against corruption. Picture: EWN

| Bruce Whitfield asks legal journalist Karyn Maughan about the process ahead after the arrest of Atul and Rajesh Gupta in Dubai.

The news broke on Monday that alleged state capture kingpins Atul and Rajesh Gupta had been arrested in Dubai.

What obstacles still lie ahead before South Africans can finally see at least two of the Gupta brothers return to the country to answer to criminal charges?

The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services has not given much detail about the process going forward, except to say that discussions between law enforcement agencies in both countries are ongoing.

Bruce Whitfield interviews legal journalist Karyn Maughan.

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She says the arrest is a major breakthrough, especially considering how hard the brothers fought against a red notice being issued against them by Interpol.

It is significant that UAE authorities have now acted on those red notices and as we speak the Gupta brothers remain behind bars in Dubai....

Karyn Maughan, Legal journalist

... experiencing a status unlike the luxurious lifestyle they were able to lead allegedly, based on the evidence that we've seen come before the Zondo Commission, profiting off billions of rand intended to support parastatals and help the South African people.

Karyn Maughan, Legal journalist

Maughan says South Africa's treaty with the UAE means it has 60 days to bring a request for extradition.

She believes this timeline will be shortened.

If the Gupta brothers disagree or say they are not willing to be extradited to South Africa there will then be a further process in which we will see litigation being pursued by them to stop the extradition, and of course the government will push for that extradition.

Karyn Maughan, Legal journalist

Ultimately a decision will be made and then I would expect... that there would be possible grounds for appeal. There does seem to be an intentionality on the part of the state certainly to get that extradition request filed and to try and expedite this process as much as possible.

Karyn Maughan, Legal journalist

They have engaged some of the country's best legal experts in relation to extradition, and they appear to be attempting to circumvent a prolonged legal process.

Karyn Maughan, Legal journalist

While some would argue that our legal system adheres too rigidly to the rights of the accused as a constitutional democracy, the UAE's structures are somewhat different she says.

"We may well see an expedited timeline in the finalisation of this matter."

Listen to Maughan discuss the finer details of the case in the audio clip below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'State has engaged some of SA's top legal experts to expedite Gupta extradition'

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