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Abu Salem's extradition: Portugal's SC rejects CBI plea

January 17, 2012 15:19 IST

Portugal's Supreme Court has rejected a Central Bureau of Investigation appeal against a lower court decision which had held that rules have been breached on extradition of underworld don Abu Salem by slapping of new charges that attract death penalty.

43-year-old Salem, who was extradited to India in 2005, had filed a petition in the high court in Lisbon alleging violation of Rule of Speciality after which a judgement was pronounced on September 19, last year, saying there had been breach of the Indian undertaking given to the Portuguese authorities.

India had given an 'executive assurance' to Portugal that Salem will not be given death penalty or charged with any section of law which entails jail term of more than 25 years.

The CBI, through ministry of external affairs, had filed a plea in the Portuguese Supreme Court contending that it was a matter of interpretation of Rule of Speciality by the highest court of India, which was binding on all subordinate courts in the country, official sources said.

India had argued that the High Court in Lisbon had interpreted the rule differently.

"The Portuguese Supreme Court has upheld the decision of Court of Appeal, Lisbon vide which it had held that there was a breach of Rule of Speciality in the matter of extradition of Abu Salem. There is expected to be no repercussion on status of Abu Salem and on the on-going trial against him. Trial courts at Lucknow and Mumbai have rejected his petitions," a CBI spokesperson said.

She clarified that the Supreme Court, vide its decision dated January 14, has not cancelled the extradition of Salem and it was only a technical point which has been raised.

Meanwhile, Salem has moved a TADA court in Mumbai seeking closure of the trial against him in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, saying continuing it will be illegal.

The TADA court will hear Salem's plea on Wednesday.

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