Nirav Modi's press blackout plea rejected at UK extradition trial
Nirav Modi’s request for a press blackout on evidence presented at his ongoing UK extradition trial by witness Justice Abhay Thipsay has been refused by the district Judge.
Jewellery tycoon Nirav Modi’s UK extradition trial began its second hearing on Monday after the first hearing in May was postponed. As part of the hearing, former Bombay High Court judge Justice Abhay Thipsay is acting as a witness for Modi and, following what Modi’s barrister Clare Montgomery QC called a “vile” response to Thipsay’s evidence at the first hearing, Modi’s team requested a press blackout, TNN reported.
Thipsay, a member of the Congress Party, faced strong criticism from members of the opposing BJP during Modi’s May hearing. However, district Judge Samuel Mark Goozée decided to refuse a media blackout on Thipsay’s evidence, which he will give as part of Modi’s defence, stating that Thipsay had previously chosen to speak to the press himself and that he did not wish to engage in Indian political commentary.
“This is a high profile case in India and I’ve no doubt Thipsay has overseen many high profile cases and entered into the arena with his eyes open,” said Goozée, TNN reported.
Press representatives, including the Times of India, orally objected to the application for a press blackout in court. Modi’s UK extradition trial is scheduled to run until Friday and a verdict will be given in December.
Indian authorities hope to extradite Modi to India to stand trial for his alleged fraud at the Punjab National Bank. If the London court does rule to extradite Modi, an appeal process will be available to him.
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