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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

CBI: Drop additional charges against Salem

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 19, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(19/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:46 IST(20/1/2013)

To resolve a contentious issue between India and Portugal, the CBI has submitted a proposal to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) — seeking the withdrawal of additional charges against Abu Salem prior to his extradition in 2005.

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“As a result, the MHA will soon approach the SC, seeking its directive for the withdrawal of additional charges,” said a CBI source. The CBI’s move was based on the advice of top legal authorities to settle a contentious issue between India and Portugal as the latter’s high court in Lisbon, in September 2011, had cancelled the extradition of Salem. While cancelling it, the Lisbon court had held that there was an alleged breach of the Rule of Specialty, considering he had been charged with certain additional offences in India.

This was despite the CBI’s contention that at the time of his extradition, India had assured Portugal that Salem will not be awarded the death penalty, and his detention would not exceed 25 years — assurances that were not violated, said the source.

However, two other Portuguese top courts — its Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court — had later upheld the Lisbon HC order. Portugal has, meanwhile, informed India that it was not required to return Salem.

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