Salem’s trial to continue, to move Portugal constitutional court: CBI


    New Delhi, (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday said underworld don Abu Salem’s trial in India will continue even after Portugal’s Supreme Court scrapped his deportation, saying it had violated the extradition treaty between the two countries.

    The CBI will approach the Portuguese constitutional court, whose decisions are above any other authority in the European country, against the country’s Supreme Court order, a spokesperson of the premier probe agency said.

    The spokesperson said the Portuguese Supreme Court order will have no bearing on Salem’s trial who is one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and has also cases against him for various crimes including murder and extortion.

    A Portugal lower court had in September ordered revocation of Salem’s extradition accusing Indian probe agencies of violating the conditions under which he was permitted to be taken to India in November 2005 to face trial in eight cases including the 1993 blasts.

    The order was challenged in the Portuguese Supreme Court by Indian authorities. But the apex court rejected India’s appeal against the order, cancelling his extradition to India.

    Salem and his girlfriend Monica Bedi were extradited to India Nov 11, 2005, after a long legal process in Portugal that lasted three years.

    At the time of his extradition, the Indian government assured Portugal that the gangster would not be given death penalty or charged with any section of law which entails jail for more than 25 years.

    Salem’s extradition was the first successful extradition from any European country to India involving a person accused of committing heinous crimes.