Nirav Modi’s extradition trial to start in UK

Nirav Modi's extradition trial to start in UK

Fugitive diamond service provider Nirav Modi, combating extradition to India on costs over the almost USD 2 billion Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) fraud and cash laundering case, is ready to be produced earlier than a UK court docket for his trial on Monday, to happen in a part-remote setting because of the coronavirus lockdown.

The 49-year-old jeweller, who has been lodged at Wandsworth Jail in south-west London since his arrest in March final yr, is predicted to be produced bodily at Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket in London. Nevertheless, given the social distancing measures being adopted by prisons and courts, District Decide Samuel Goozee had conceded that another could be for him to be produced through videolink.

“Some prisons are producing prisoners in individual, so I’ll direct Wandsworth Jail to supply Modi in individual for the trial from Could 11. If that’s not practicable, his participation by reside hyperlink stays a backstop,” Decide Goozee stated on the final remand listening to within the case on April 28.

It has been agreed {that a} restricted variety of authorized representatives will probably be current bodily in court docket for the trial, whereas witnesses give their proof through videolink. Modi will have the ability to observe the proceedings both from the dock, if the jail authorities comply with a bodily switch, or through the judiciary’s widespread viewing system (CVP) from Wandsworth Jail.

The five-day listening to beginning on Monday pertains to the Indian authorities’s extradition request licensed by the UK authorities final yr. The case has been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and pertains to a large-scale fraud upon an Indian PSU by the fraudulent acquiring of letters of understanding (LoUs) and the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.

Two extra costs of “inflicting the disappearance of proof” and intimidating witnesses or “felony intimidation to trigger demise” have been added on by the CBI and authorized earlier this yr. “The Could 11 extradition listening to goes forward and the brand new request (two extra offences a part of the CBI case) has not been joined however will probably be handled at a separate later listening to, most likely in July,” stated the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), showing on behalf of the Indian authorities.

CPS barrister Nick Hearn informed the court docket on the final listening to in April, held through tele-conference, that the federal government of India’s representatives could be following the proceedings and giving directions through the court docket’s on-line widespread viewing platform, given the COVID-19 associated journey restrictions. “Now we have acquired complete responses in writing from the federal government of India, which would cut back the possible size of cross-examinations,” stated Hearn.

It was additionally confirmed that the diamond service provider wouldn’t be giving proof within the case, however his authorized workforce plans to supply round six witnesses, together with a jewelry knowledgeable in addition to judicial and prisons specialists. A lot of the authorized instances within the UK have integrated videolink and telephonic choices the place doable amid the social distancing guidelines in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Modi, whose Wandsworth Jail is taken into account one of the crucial over-crowded in England, had made a fifth try at bail within the Excessive Court docket final month, which was rejected because the choose dominated that he continued to pose a flight threat. The jeweller was arrested on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard on costs of fraud and cash laundering introduced by the Indian authorities.

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