September 27, 2019

Mehul Choksi’s Lawyer Reacts To Antiguan PM’s Statement; Says His Client Is Innocent Until A Court Declares Him Guilty

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud accused fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal has stated that every person including his client is presumed innocent until a court of law pronounces him guilty.

He stated that Choksi is entitled to all legal remedies under the law of Antigua and shall prove his innocence in due course of time.

The statement came shortly after Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne said in New York that Mehul Choksi is a “crook” who will be extradited back to India after he has exhausted his legal options and added that it was “unfortunate” that Choksi was cleared by Indian officials as a person in “good standing” during his immigration process to Antigua.

Choksi’s lawyer stated that his client left India for his medical treatment at a time when there were no CBI or ED criminal proceedings pending against him, adding that Choksi can’t come to India because of “serious health issues”.

Incidentally, the 59-year-old Choksi, who is wanted along with his nephew Nirav Modi for the Rs 13,500-crore PNB fraud, had earlier refused to return to India, saying he feared that would be “lynched”.

It may be recalled that earlier, Choksi’s lawyer had stated that his client cannot submit his medical reports in Mumbai as directed by the court his doctor in Antigua has refused to treat him due to some unexplained reason.

Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi left India in January 2018, only weeks before the PNB fraud surfaced. Later, it came to be known that Choksi had taken the citizenship of Antigua just two months before the PNB fraud was revealed.

Meanwhile, government agencies have claimed that efforts are on to extradite Choksi to India so that he can face trial, even as the Enforcement Directorate seized properties worth Rs 24 crore belonging to him.

Choksi’s nephew Nirav Modi, who is also an accused in the PNB fraud, had escaped to London, where he has been arrested and faces an extradition trial.

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