Gangster Abu Salem moves European Court of Human Rights to cancel his extradition to India
The underworld don claimed claimed his conviction in the 1993 blasts cases is yet another breach of extradition order by Indian government.india Updated: Feb 10, 2018 11:47 IST
Underworld don Abu Salem has once again moved the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), pleading to cancel his extradition to India and transfer him back to Portugal. In his fresh plea, Salem claimed his conviction in the 1993 blasts cases is yet another breach of extradition order by Indian government.
Abu Salem has, through his lawyer, written a second letter to ECHR, which HT is in possession of, against the Indian government, for violating his extradition order and also against the Portuguese government for its inaction. He had first approached the ECHR in June last year, claiming the trial conducted in the 1993 blasts case was a violation of his extradition order.
In his fresh plea, Salem has now raised questions on the verdict of the TADA court in the case. Salem was held guilty by the TADA court on June 16, 2017, and on September 7, 2017, it sentenced him to 25 years of imprisonment.
“Indeed by decisions dated June 16 and September 7, 2017, the applicant has been convicted for charges that are additional and completely exceed the order of extradition given by the Portuguese government,” reads Salem’s letter dated January 2.
Now, Salem has pleaded that the Portuguese government should take action against the Indian government as the latter failed to respect the commitment and ask for his return.
In the letter running into four pages, Salem claimed the Portugal government had authorised India to prosecute him only in nine cases. But the letter claimed ‘since he [Salem] has been extradited to India, the applicant has already been convicted for 32 new crimes and additional charges.’
Citing an example of his conviction in connection with the 1993 blasts case, where he has been found guilty for transportation of arms and ammunitions along with other charges, Salem claimed the additional charges imposed later by the government were not withdrawn.
“The additional charges have not been withdrawn by the Indian authority because even if some charges were ‘officially withdrawn, some other additional and major charges were added or not withdrawn. For example, how can the applicant have been held guilty for the charge of transportation of arms and ammunitions while the charge of possession of arms and ammunitions have been withdrawn?” Salem claimed in his letter.
He alleged ‘the government of Portuguese is not doing its best to ensure the respect of the Extradition Act and decision of its national jurisdictions, which have confirmed the termination of extradition order.’
Salem pointed out that various courts of Portugal, which includes the high court of Lisbon, its Supreme Court and Constitutional court of Lisbon had observed that the Indian government had violated the extradition order.
The constitution court of Lisbon, in its order dated July 5, 2012, observed that “the criminal court of India is not empowered to judge offences mentioned in the extradition order.”