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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 16:52 GMT
Indian crime boss goes on trial
Abu Salem fled India after the bombings in Bombay
One of India's most wanted men, Bombay crime boss Abu Salem, has gone on trial in Portugal on charges of carrying false travel documents.

Abu Salem is a prime suspect in a series of blasts in Bombay which killed 257 people in 1993.

He is also being sought by the Indian authorities in a string of murder and extortion cases.

Abu Salem was arrested in Lisbon last year with his companion, Bollywood actress Monika Bedi.

Earlier this month in a separate case, a Portuguese court began hearing a request from the Indian Government for Abu Salem's deportation.

'Mistaken identity'

Portugal and India do not have an extradition treaty.

The Portuguese constitution also prohibits the deportation of suspects to countries where they could face the death penalty.

Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani has assured Portugal that Abu Salem would not be given the death penalty if he were extradited.

Abu Salem fled India in the 1990s and settled in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where he was arrested in 2001.

He was released on bail when Delhi failed to produce sufficient evidence to persuade police to hand him over.

Mr Salem's lawyer has said that the man arrested by Portuguese authorities is not the wanted Indian fugitive, but Arsalan Ali, a citizen of Pakistan, according to the AFP news agency.

Abu Salem was once considered a close aide to Dawood Ibrahim, India's most wanted man.

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