Nirav Modi, wished in reference to the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) rip-off case, was additional remanded in custody by a court docket in London listening to India’s extradition request for the diamond service provider
The 49-year-old appeared through videolink from Wandsworth Prison in south-west London, wearing a maroon sweater and sporting a full beard, for his common 28-day call-over listening to at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the place Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot prolonged his remand for an additional 28 days till December 29.
It will likely be one other quick videolink call-over listening to after which there may be simply over every week earlier than closing submissions within the case, she instructed Nirav Modi, who spoke solely to verify his identify and date of delivery.
The closing hearings within the extradition case are scheduled over two days, on January 7 and eight, 2021, when District Judge Samuel Goozee is scheduled to listen to closing arguments from each side earlier than he palms down his judgment a couple of weeks later.
At the final listening to within the case on November 3, Judge Goozee heard the arguments for and in opposition to the admissibility of sure witness statements offered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) and dominated that the proof to ascertain a prima facie case of fraud and cash laundering in opposition to the fugitive diamantaire is broadly admissible.
He concluded that he thought of himself sure by the earlier UK court docket rulings within the extradition case of former Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, had confused that the proof, together with witness statements underneath Section 161 of the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), meets the required threshold for the UK court docket to find out whether or not Nirav Modi has a case to reply earlier than the Indian judicial system.
The argument that it is a very particular case, distinguishable from Vijay Mallya is frankly nonsense, stated CPS barrister Helen Malcolm.
That Vijay Mallya has a case to reply in India in his fraud and cash laundering case has cleared varied ranges of the UK judicial system and is presently present process a confidential authorized problem earlier than UK Home Secretary Priti Patel can take into account signing off on his extradition.
Nirav Modi’s barrister, Clare Montgomery, who was additionally the defence counsel in Vijay Mallya’s case, nonetheless, disputed that the Section 161 witness statements qualify as related.
The authorities of India case will not be as robust because it was in Vijay Mallya, stated Claire Montgomery, as she additionally raised a selected problem over a witness who was stated to talk no English in his testimony for the CBI however signed a press release in English for the ED.
Nirav Modi is the topic of two units of prison proceedings, with the CBI case referring to a large-scale fraud upon PNB via the fraudulent acquiring of “Letters of Understanding” (LOUs or mortgage agreements), and the ED case referring to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud. He additionally faces two extra costs of “causing the disappearance of evidence” and intimidating witnesses or prison intimidation to trigger dying added to the CBI case.
The jeweller has been in jail since he was arrested on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard and his makes an attempt at searching for bail have been repeatedly turned down. The costs in opposition to him centre round his corporations Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds making fraudulent use of a credit score facility supplied by PNB or LoUs.
The CPS, on behalf of India, have instructed the court docket in the course of the course of two separate set of hearings in May and September that plenty of PNB employees conspired with Nirav Modi to make sure the LoUs have been issued to his firms with out making certain they have been topic to the required credit score examine, with out recording the issuance of the LoUs and with out charging the required fee upon the transactions.
Nirav Modi’s defence workforce has sought to counter allegations of fraud by deposing witnesses to ascertain the volatility of the gems and jewelry commerce and that the LoUs have been customary follow. His extreme despair has additionally been raised as a part of the arguments in opposition to extradition.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)