Copenhagen, Oct. 9: India will sensitise the European Union about the need for expelling Abu Salem from Portugal.
Despite the political goodwill expressed by Portugal in the matter, India would not like to bypass the judicial structure of that country, foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal said.
“We are already in touch with Portugal, which is a member of the European Union. The EU, we know, is sensitive to the issue of criminals with international terrorist links. We have sought to sensitise our European partners to the importance of handing over Salem so that he can be brought to justice,” Sibal said.
“At the political level, there is excellent cooperation with Portugal. But that should not be taken to mean that any country should be expected to operate outside its legal framework,” he added.
Asked if India could bypass its judicial system and assure Portugal that Salem would not be given the death penalty, Sibal said that as far as he knew, there was a clause in India’s extradition treaties which allows the government to waive the death penalty.
Although India does not have an extradition treaty with Portugal, the indication was that any assurance of waiving the death penalty for Salem may not be illegal under Indian law.