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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 17:29 GMT
Bombay 'bomber' faces extradition
By Alison Roberts
BBC, Lisbon

Abu Salem
Abu Salem is serving a jail sentence for possession of forged documents
A Portuguese court has upheld a request to extradite a suspected bomber who is one of India's most wanted men.

Abu Salem is accused by Indian police of having been involved in the country's deadliest bomb attacks, in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1993.

The attacks killed more than 250 people, injured a further 1,000 and caused more than $10m worth of damage.

Salem, who is already in jail, is also wanted in connection to many murders and extortion and kidnapping cases.

The 41-year-old Indian citizen is unlikely to leave Portugal any time soon, however, as his lawyers are expected to appeal further.

Death sentence

The ruling represents an acceptance by the Portuguese court of assurances from India that Salem would not face a death sentence or life imprisonment if returned.

Under Portugal's constitution, a suspect cannot be extradited if he or she faces such a sentence.

In the wake of India's assurances, Portugal's attorney general ruled that extradition was admissible, and the justice minister submitted evidence on those lines to the court.

Salem is currently serving a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence for possession of forged documents, imposed in November.

He and a companion, former film star Monica Bedi, were arrested in September 2002, since when India has been pressing for their extradition.

The targets of the 1993 bombings included the Bombay stock exchange, the offices of India's national airline, the state passport office and three hotels.

The attacks were seen as a retaliation for anti-Muslim riots that left hundreds dead.

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