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Hurdle in Monica Bedi's extradition cleared
November 28, 2003 20:01 IST
Last Updated: November 29, 2003 01:48 IST
The supreme court of Portugal is understood to have removed a hurdle in the extradition of Monica Bedi, a little-known Bollywood actress and companion of underworld don Abu Salem, to India.
The supreme court stayed the order of a trial court that rejected her extradition and directed recommencement of proceedings.
In its appeal before the supreme court, the CBI stated Bedi had submitted forged documents to obtain passports while in Portugal she was accused of possessing forged documents. Rejecting the extradition request, a trial court had said in July that Bedi could be tried in Portugal as besides the fraud committed in India, she had committed a similar offence in Portugal too.
After examining written submissions of both the sides, the supreme court directed the trial court to resume extradition proceedings in view of the fact that the accused had committed her first offence in India and not in Portugal and that entry into the country was only to hide from the law in India.
Salem's extradition trial is also on and the CBI recently provided to the Portugal government evidence in the form of court rulings to show that minorities were not discriminated in the country as alleged by the underworld don.
Additional Director Vijay Shankar is handling the case for the CBI. He had earlier led a team to Portugal following reports of Salem and Bedi's arrest.
The CBI has hired Lisbon based legal firm Moraos Leitao and J Galvio Tales to assist the Prosecutor General's office in Portugal in preparing the case as local laws do not permit a separate counsel to represent the agency in that country.
On Friday, a Portuguese court sentenced Salem and Monica to imprisonment for entering Portugal using forged documents.
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