November 3, 2020 9:24:26 pm
A UK choose presiding over the extradition proceedings of Nirav Modi on Tuesday dominated that the proof submitted by the Indian authorities to determine a prima facie case of fraud and cash laundering towards the fugitive diamantaire is broadly admissible.
District Choose Samuel Goozee heard the arguments for and towards the admissibility of sure witness statements supplied by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) at Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket right here and concluded that he thought-about himself “sure” by the earlier UK court docket rulings within the extradition case of former Kingfisher Airways chief Vijay Mallya.
He then adjourned the case for a two-day listening to on January 7 and eight subsequent 12 months, when he’ll hear the ultimate submissions within the case earlier than he arms down his judgment a number of weeks later.
“I think about myself sure by that call (Mallya). There isn’t a cause why factors made by witnesses can’t be used as knowledgeable commentary,” mentioned Choose Goozee.
Modi is needed in India to face trial within the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) rip-off case.
The 49-year-old diamond service provider adopted the proceedings through videolink from Wandsworth Jail in south-west London, wearing a prison-issued gray tracksuit and sporting a thick beard.
He’ll subsequent seem from jail, by videolink, for a daily transient 28-day remand call-over listening to on December 1.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, harassed that the proof, together with witness statements below Part 161 of the Indian Code of Prison Process (CrPC), meets the required threshold for the UK court docket to find out whether or not Modi has a case to reply earlier than the Indian judicial system.
“The argument that this can be a very particular case, distinguishable from Mallya is frankly nonsense,” mentioned CPS barrister Helen Malcolm.
That 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 at the moment present process a “confidential” authorized subject earlier than UK Residence Secretary Priti Patel can think about signing off on his extradition.
Modi’s barrister, Clare Montgomery, who was additionally the defence counsel in Mallya’s case, nevertheless, disputed that the Part 161 witness statements qualify as comparable.
“The federal government of India case shouldn’t be as robust because it was in Mallya,” mentioned Montgomery, as she raised a selected subject over a witness who was mentioned to talk no English in his testimony for the CBI however signed an announcement in English for the ED.
After Tuesday’s ruling, the choose will resolve how a lot weight he locations on these paperwork amid the “37 bundles of proof” to be thought-about for his ruling within the case � anticipated early subsequent 12 months.
Modi is the topic of two units of prison proceedings, with the CBI case regarding a large-scale fraud upon PNB by way of the fraudulent acquiring of “Letters of Understanding” (LOUs or mortgage agreements), and the ED case regarding the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.
He additionally faces two extra prices of “inflicting the disappearance of proof” and intimidating witnesses or “prison intimidation to trigger demise” 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 looking for bail have been repeatedly turned down.
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