Dubai Court rules Gupta brothers cannot be extradited

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Dubai's Court of Appeal has ruled against South Africa's extradition request for Atul and Rajesh Gupta, who face charges of political corruption.

The Guptas are accused of using their connections with Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa from 2009 to 2018, to win contracts, influence cabinet appointments and siphon off state funds. Zuma and the Guptas have denied all wrongdoing.

The Indian-born brothers left South Africa after Zuma was unseated in 2018. A judicial inquiry established in the same year to examine allegations of graft during Zuma's years in power recommended criminal charges against the Guptas.

The decision to reject the extradition was based on insufficient legal documentation and followed a comprehensive and thorough legal review process that found that the request did not meet the strict standards for legal documentation as outlined in the extradition agreement between the UAE and South Africa that entered into force in April 2021.

The two extradition requests for fraud and corruption were not accompanied by a copy of a current arrest warrant order as required rather they were cancelled arrest warrant orders, the UAE justice minister said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM.

Following the decision by the Dubai Court of Appeal, the UAE judiciary underscored that South African authorities are able to resubmit the extradition request with new and additional documentation.

South Africa's Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, said they would "promptly appeal" the decision.

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