In the first instance of its kind, the CBI may agree to a French court conducting the trial of a citizen of that country for offences committed in India.
A formal decision on Dominique Sabire, accused in the infamous Goa child sex abuse case of the 90s, will be taken soon.
Any decision in this case may have a bearing on other extradition cases of the CBI, including that of Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy.
“We have received a proposal from the ministry of external affairs in this regard. We are examining it,” said CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra in an official statement.
Though Sabire was arrested in Delhi in 1996, he jumped bail and allegedly escaped from Goa to France on a forged passport in 2000.
An Interpol Red Corner notice was issued against him the same year. “France has proposed a local prosecution against Sabire. In all likelihood, India will accept the proposal, and the CBI will be asked to present its evidence against Sabire in a French court,” an official said.
Investigators are already looking for French translators to get the case documents translated into the local language.
The case involved an orphanage called Gurukul in a village near Colva beach, South Goa, where the accused were sexually exploiting destitute children and selling them to other paedophiles. The CBI chargesheeted seven accused in the case.
“Two of the accused were brought from Australia and New Zealand to face justice, but France refused to extradite Sabire. Instead, it proposed local prosecution. We have no option but to accept the French proposal if we want Sabire brought to justice,” the official added.
Besides the Sabire case, the CBI is also seeking extradition of two more French nationals in the the Kochi Galathee espionage case of 1995. The accused were charged with conducting an illegal survey in Indian waters, and detained.
Though the two — Francis Clavel and Elle Philippe — were allowed to go to France for 45 days in 1998 on the basis of a sovereign guarantee tendered by the French ambassador in India, the two did not return.