Saturday, December 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Anees freed on bail
Salem’s extradition sought
Tribune News Service and PTI

New Delhi, December 13
In a setback to the CBI, the Dubai police has released underworld don and main accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case Anees Ibrahim on bail, 10 days after his arrest in connection with a murder case. In another development, following rejection of the request for the extradition of mafia don and another main accused in the Mumbai blast case, Abu Salem, India today sent a formal request to Portugal for the extradition of Salem.

According to official sources, Anees was released on bail last night. However, details of the bail conditions were not available.

The decision of the Dubai police came as a rude shock for the CBI which had been informed only on December 11 by Interpol, Abu Dhabi, to forward an extradition request for Anees, brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

There was no official word from the CBI on the development and its Director P.C. Sharma was closetted with home after a week’s stay there.

Mr Gupta had gone to Dubai on December 8 to provide documents to the local police regarding Anees’ involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and other crimes in India.

A CBI official is leaving for Lisbon tonight with a formal request for Abu Salem’s extradition along with documents pertaining to nine prominent cases against him and an assurance from the Indian Government that Salem will not be awarded death penalty, if convicted by the Indian courts, CBI Director P.C. Sharma told newspersons here today.

The extradition request is being listed with documents pertaining to three cases pending with CBI, four cases with the Delhi police and two cases with the Mumbai police with authenticated Portugese translation of the same.

The assurance for not applying the capital punishment clause had been given as the Portuguese law clearly states that no one could be extradited to any country which has a provision for death penalty.

India gave this assurance under Section 34 (i) of the Extradition Act, which could help in overcoming the difficulty regarding the death penalty and reducing it to life sentence.

The Union Cabinet had recently cleared granting this special assurance to Portugese authorities and the assurance letter from the Indian Government has been signed by Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani.

In the absence of an extradition treaty with Portugal, the request was being made under Section 3 (i) of the Extradition Act of 1962 which enables the government to act with any nation even with which “we do not have the extradition treaty”.

Salem, who was held by the Portuguese authorities for travelling on a fake passport is in judicial custody till December 16.

The local authorities, as per the local laws, could request in an appropriate court for extension of his judicial custody for a further maximum period of 90 days beyond December 16, CBI sources said.

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