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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

UAE relief for Gupta brothers

The Guptas had been fingered as lynchpins of the widespread looting of state funds during the tenure of former President Jacob Zuma that has contributed to the country’s broken economy

John Eligon Johannesburg Published 08.04.23, 05:38 AM
Atul Gupta

Atul Gupta

South African officials are fuming after learning on Thursday that a court in the UAE denied their request to extradite the brothers Atul and Rajesh Gupta, businessmen accused of sweeping corruption, at a hearing seven weeks ago that the South African authorities say no one ever bothered to tell them about.

The Guptas had been fingered as lynchpins of the widespread looting of state funds during the tenure of former President Jacob Zuma that has contributed to the country’s broken economy.

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An investigator estimated that the Guptas, who fled to the UAE about five years ago, secured at least $3.2 billion worth of business through a vast network of corporations and government connections.

The Guptas have denied any wrongdoing and said that they are the victims of political infighting.

Ronald Lamola, South Africa’s justice minister, accused the UAE on Friday of failing to uphold a treaty between the two countries.

He said at a news conference that South African officials had been pressing their counterparts in the UAE for updates on the case for several months.

But it was only on Thursday night that the UAE sent official notice that a hearing had been held on February 13 in Dubai and that the Gupta brothers were no longer in custody because extradition had been denied.

“We learned with shock and dismay that the extradition hearing had been concluded,” Lamola said.

New York Times News Service

Twitter lawyer quits

A senior lawyer at Twitter submitted his resignation on Thursday, four people familiar with the matter said, becoming the latest in a string of executives to leave the company since Elon Musk took it over nearly six months ago.

The lawyer, Christian Dowell, rose to the top of Twitter’s legal department in recent months after the company’s legal leaders resigned or were fired by Musk. Dowell had been intimately involved in Twitter’s recent negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission, two people familiar with those discussions said.

The FTC, which currently has oversight over Twitter, is looking into a former executive’s claims that the company has had a security problem. The commission accelerated its inquiry after the sudden resignations of three Twitter executives responsible for privacy, security and compliance.

The agency’s probe has intensified in recent months and is scrutinising whether the company has the resources to uphold its promises.

New York Times News Service

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