Durban - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it has full confidence in its teams of prosecutors who are working on the Gupta extradition.
Rajesh and Atul Gupta were arrested in Dubai two weeks ago after the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) last year issued a Red Notice alert for members of the family in connection with money laundering charges.
The charges relate to procurement fraud involving R24.9 million paid between November 2011 and April 2012 by the Free State Department of Agriculture to a company called Nulane Investments 204.
The NPA said in a statement today that extradition processes are complex and each one has its peculiar dynamics, depending on the country involved.
“Expert prosecutors in the NPA have been dealing with extradition cases for many years. The NPA leadership has full confidence in its team of experienced and highly skilled prosecutors working on the legal aspects of the Gupta extradition process.
“This core team of prosecutors is leading the process, with the support of several private counsel, as necessary, to assist with the finalisation of the formal extradition request.”
It explained that in terms of the extradition treaty between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa has 60 days from the date of arrest to submit the formal extradition application.
“The NPA is on track to finalise this process, in close consultation with relevant authorities in the UAE and Interpol as required, acting in full compliance with domestic and international legal obligations relating to extradition. The diplomatic and political aspects are being dealt with in parallel by our colleagues in the Ministry, Department of Justice and Department of International Relations and Co-operations.”
It added that while it will not be commenting on the legal dimensions of the case at this early stage, it had noted with concern the “widespread misinformation and speculation about how the NPA and its leadership are handling this complex legal process”.
The NPA said it welcomes constructive criticism.
“However, recent irresponsible reports about the NPA’s apparent poor handling of the process, or failing to respond to UAE requests, are not accurate, and should be dismissed as dangerous speculation, or politically and personally motivated attacks to undermine the NPA and its leadership during this process.”