Millennium Post

UK court rejects Nirav's new bail application

UK court rejects Niravs new bail application

London: In a setback to Nirav Modi, a UK court yet again rejected a bail plea of the fugitive diamond merchant on Wednesday despite an offer of an "unprecedented bail package", which included 4-million pounds in security as well as house arrest akin to those imposed on terrorist suspects.

The 48-year-old diamond merchant, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, was produced before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates' Court here for his fourth attempt at bail.

Dressed smartly in a white shirt and blue sweater, Modi was taken back to Wandsworth prison in south-west London and will next appear via videolink before the same court on December 4.

"The past is a prediction of what might happen in the future," said Judge Arbuthnot, as she concluded that she remains unconvinced that he would not interfere with witnesses or fail to surrender before the court for his trial in May 2020. She also noted that the confirmation that Modi is suffering from depression is not such that would influence her to change her previous ruling to deny bail.

She, however, was extremely critical of "appalling" leaks to the Indian media last month associated with Modi's latest bail application, which referred to his mental health condition from a confidential medical report.

Modi's defence team blamed the leak on the Indian investigative agencies and produced a bundle of press reports dated October 30 for the judge to accuse the Indian authorities of bad faith and egregious behaviour .

"It is very unfortunate indeed that the doctor's report was leaked. It should not happen and would undermine the court's trust in the government of India, if indeed that emerges to be the source of the leak," the Judge said.

James Lewis, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on behalf of the Indian government, stressed that the leak was deplorable but did not come from the Indian side.

He challenged the fresh bail application on the grounds that there had been no material change in circumstances from the previous three occasions and stressed that Modi continued to possess the means and intention to flee the UK.

Aditi Khanna

Aditi Khanna

Our contributor helps bringing the latest updates to you


Share it
Top