Fugitive diamond service provider Nirav Modi on Friday failed in his second try and get bail in his extradition case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket right here regardless of his defence group vehemently making an attempt to determine his shut ties to the UK, together with having to take care of a pet canine.
Chief Justice of the Peace Emma Arbuthnot declined the bail software of the 48-year-old prime accused within the USD 1-2 billion Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) fraud case on the grounds that he did pose a “substantial” flight threat and that he lacked “group ties” with the UK.
Clare Montgomery, Modi’s barrister, made a sequence of presents to attempt to persuade the choose to grant bail.
“He did have a son at Charterhouse [school in London] who has now gone to college within the States and as an indication of ageing dad and mom, led Modi to get a canine as a substitute. None of those actions are emblematic of somebody getting down to flee the nation,” Montgomery claimed.
“It’s nonsense to say that he’s a flight threat. He doesn’t have a secure haven open to him and he has not travelled or utilized for citizenship elsewhere he solely qualifies for go away to stay on this nation,” she added.
However the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, pressured that Modi posed a big flight threat and was additionally more likely to additional intimidate witnesses and destroy proof if he had been launched.
Decide Arbuthnot accepted the Indian authorities’s arguments, noting the “very uncommon” proof she had seen at this early stage within the case of interference with witnesses and destruction proof within the type of cell phones and a server.
Montgomery, who together with Anand Doobay of Boutique Regulation makes up a really comparable defence group as that of former Kingfisher Airways boss Vijay Mallya in his extradition case towards India, instructed the courtroom that her shopper was keen to place up 1 million pound as safety – doubling of the 500,000 kilos determine supplied on the first bail listening to final week.
She additionally supplied to undergo a number of “stringent circumstances”, together with Modi sporting an digital tag to be monitored often. The tag was claimed to be even higher than reporting to any police station however Modi was additionally keen to undergo even that requirement.
As within the case of Mallya, who was granted bail instantly after his arrest on an extradition warrant in 2017, Montgomery stated that Modi would assure to maintain a cell phone on him which was charged up and switched on always, submit to finish journey restrictions and likewise give up all his residence permits, together with for Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE.
The defence group additionally tried to counter further CPS proof, submitted on Friday morning by the joint Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) group, that claimed Modi had made demise threats to witnesses within the PNB fraud case, a lot of whom had been pressured to depart India to cover away in Cairo, Egypt.
“The entire witnesses who make various claims have been in India since then and cooperating with the authorities,” stated Montgomery.
The CPS was capable of problem Modi’s defence claims that he had not travelled out of the UK since January 2018, when he allegedly arrived in Britain to determine the worldwide headquarters of his diamond enterprise.
CPS barrister Toby Cadman instructed the courtroom that the truth is he had flown out to New York as lately as final month.
“That apart, he has identified about these issues for a while however has not cooperated with authorities in any manner. Now that the [extradition] course of has began, there’s an excellent better threat of his fleeing [the UK],” Cadman submitted.
The choose agreed that she didn’t really feel that the circumstances met with Modi’s statutory proper to bail in such a case and directed Modi to be remanded in custody to seem for a remand listening to on April 26, required inside a four-week interval of an accused being remanded in custody.
Modi will stay at HMP Wandsworth in south-west London throughout that interval, the place he can maintain classes along with his authorized group to deliberate on the course of the extradition case.
His legal professionals have urged the choose to permit them greater than the few hours per week allowed by the jail, one of many UK’s most overcrowded prisons.
Additionally Learn: Nirav Modi made demise threats to witnesses, UK courtroom instructed