Nirav Modi's extradition case enters final stage in London court
Jewellery tycoon Nirav Modi has entered the final stage of his extradition trial in the UK, as Indian authorities seek to extradite him to India to stand trial for fraud at the Punjab National Bank.
Ahead of the UK-wide lockdown scheduled to begin on Thursday, Nirav Modi faces the conclusion of his extradition trial, which began back in spring, and was restarted again in September, the Press Trust of India reported. Modi is accused, along with his Uncle and fellow jeweller Mehul Choksi, of taking part in one of the largest scale frauds in India’s banking history.
Modi’s trial has thus far taken place at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, where he faces two sets of criminal proceedings; one with India’s Central Bureau of Investigation of large scale fraud, and one with the Enforcement Directorate for laundering the proceeds from that alleged fraud. Modi also faces charges of witness intimidation threatening death and destruction of evidence with the CBI.
Modi’s seventh bail attempt was recently rejected by the UK court. Although Modi’s legal team claimed that his mental health was deteriorating behind bars, Judge Goozee ruled that Modi remained a flight risk and denied the request. Modi has resided in Wandsworth Prison outside London since his arrest in March last year.
As a significant element of the extradition trial, Indian authorities, represented by the UK crown prosecution service, seek to demonstrate that Modi will be treated humanely back in India. As part of this, Indian authorities have provided information on the jail cell at Arthur Road where Modi would reside while awaiting trial if he is extradited.
Although Modi’s trial is concluding, a lengthy appeal process will be available to him should the court rule to extradite him. A final hearing is also expected to take place next month or early in 2021 to hear closing statements from both sides. The case could also be sent to the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel following the final hearing, due to the magnitude of the case.
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