Nirav Modi’s extradition case associated with approximately USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering charges as put forward by the Indian government opened for a five-day hearing in a UK court on Monday.
According to NDTV, the 49-year-old jeweller, who has been in a London prison since his arrest in March last year, was seen in a video dressed in a dark suit and sporting beard as the second phase of the trial got underway at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Representatives from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were in court and logged into the remote court network to take notice of the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) present their case before District Judge Samuel Goozee.
The hearings this week are scheduled to go through those arguments after the Indian government had submitted additional “corroboratory evidence”.
It will continue to deal with the additional extradition request, made by the Indian authorities and certified by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel earlier this year, which furthers the charges of “causing the disappearance of evidence” or “criminal intimidation to cause death” against Nirav Modi.
Aligned with the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Judge Goozee had instructed Nirav Modi’s appearance from a room in Wandsworth Prison in south-west London with social distancing measures in place for the part-remote setting of the hearings.
Justice Goozee had taken over the first phase of the extradition in May, during which he brought all possible evidences to establish a prima facie case of fraud and money laundering against Nirav Modi.
Nirav Modi’s team has rubbished all allegations of fraud by bringing witnesses to establish the volatility of the gems trade and that the LoUs were a standard practice.
Nirav Modi has made extensive repeated attempts at bail over the past year, each of which went futile as he is deemed a flight risk.
For the unaware, the jeweller was put behind bars on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard.