UK Court to begin extradition trial of Nirav Modi today in PNB Fraud Case

Story Highlights
  • The diamond merchant was arrested on March 19, 2019. om extradition to India over the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case
  • The five-day hearing is set to take place in a part-remote setting due to the coronavirus lockdown

LONDON: Nirav Modi, a fugitive diamond merchant from India infamous for money laundering, embezzlement and breach of contract is set to be put on trial by the UK Court from Monday. The Indian businessman is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud & money laundering of over USD 2 billion with Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The five day hearing is set to take place in a part-remote setting due to the coronavirus lockdown. 

The 49-year-old jeweller was arrested in March last year and has been lodged at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London. He is expected to be produced physically at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. 

However, the District Judge Samuel Goozeehas said that an alternative to make him present at the trial through videolink is being considered, given the social distancing measures being followed by prisons and courts.

“Some prisons are producing prisoners in person, so I will direct Wandsworth Prison to produce Modi in person for the trial from May 11. If that is not practicable, his participation by live link remains a backstop,” Judge Goozee said at the last remand hearing in the case on April 28.

It has been reported that a limited number of legal representatives will be present physically in court for the trial, while witnesses will be asked to give their evidence via videolink.

It is also said that he would be able to observe the proceedings from the dock if the prison authorities agree to a physical transfer. In case, the physical transfer is not possible it would be conducted via the judiciary’s common viewing system (CVP) from Wandsworth Prison.

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