Nirav Modi to appear via videolink for remand hearing in United Kingdom
Nirav Modi has previously had his bail rejected multiple times, the fourth and final time being by the UK High Court last month
London: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi who is listed as wanted in India in connection with money laundering case and the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, is set to appear on Thursday before a UK court for his customary 28-day remand hearing. The 48-year-old fugitive diamond merchant is likely to be informed of the dates for his trial on the extradition charges brought by the Indian government, being represented in London at Westminster Magistrates' Court by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Nirav Modi since his arrest in March has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard. Emma Arbuthnot, the Chief Magistrate had presided over the last remand hearing via videolink at the court from the prison where Nirav Modi is being held, during which she had indicated that the dates for an estimated five-day trial would be mutually agreed by both sides soon. According to news agency, PTI, as per the timelines discussed during the brief hearing, the judge stated that she expected to receive all the skeleton argument bundles and evidence in the case by April 8, with a five-day hearing then expected to be slotted in May next year.
The news agency also reported that Nirav Modi has previously had his bail rejected multiple times, the final time being by the UK High Court last month. Justice Ingrid Simler, in her judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice, she concluded there were "substantial grounds to believe that Nirav Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to abscond." Judge Simler ruled that after considering all the material "carefully", she had found strong evidence to suggest there had been interference with witnesses and destruction of evidence in the case and concluded it can still occur. "The applicant has access to considerable financial resources, supported by an increased [bail bond security] offer of 2 million pounds," the judge noted.
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was arrested on an extradition warrant on March 19 by uniformed Scotland Yard officers and has been in prison since then. During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told that Nirav Modi was the "principal beneficiary" of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime.
With inputs from PTI
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