The NPA says reports about its apparent ‘poor handling’ of the extradition of the Gupta brothers from the UAE should be ‘dismissed as dangerous speculation,’ reports News24.

In a statement yesterday, NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhanga said the prosecuting body had ‘full confidence’ in its prosecutors, who were working to finalise the formal extradition of Rajesh and Atul Gupta. The duo face fraud and money laundering charges in SA.

The brothers, referred to by the Dubai police as being ‘among South Africa's most wanted suspects’, were arrested this month.

Mhanga said the NPA had noted ‘with concern the widespread misinformation and speculation about how the NPA and its leadership are handling this complex legal process’.

‘While we recognise the public interest in this matter, we must focus on delivering on our constitutional mandate and responsibilities without distraction, and without fear or favour.’

He added that while the NPA welcomes constructive criticism, recent ‘irresponsible’ reports about the NPA's apparent poor handling of the process, or failing to respond to UAE requests, were not accurate and should be dismissed as dangerous speculation, or politically and personally motivated attacks to undermine the NPA and its leadership during this process.

Mhanga said extradition processes were complex, and each had peculiar dynamics, depending on the country involved. He said expert prosecutors in the NPA have been dealing with extradition cases for many years, reports News24.

He said the NPA's team was leading the process, with the support of several private counsels, as necessary, to assist with the finalisation of the formal extradition request.

He said the NPA had already submitted the requests for provisional arrest warrants through the appropriate channels.

SA had 60 days from the date of arrest to submit the formal extradition application in terms of the extradition treaty with the UAE.

‘The NPA is on track to finalise this process, in close consultation with relevant authorities in the UAE and Interpol, as required, acting in full compliance with domestic and international legal obligations relating to extradition.'

He said the diplomatic and political aspects were being dealt with in parallel by their colleagues in the Ministry, Department of Justice and Department of International Relations & Co-operation.

'We have previously explained why we will not be commenting on the legal dimensions of the case at this early stage and this remains our position for important legal and case-specific reasons.’

Full News24 report