Europe & UK

January 31, 2020

UK Court Extends Nirav Modi's Custody Till February 27


[ By Bobby Anthony ]

Westminster-Magistrates-Court-Nirav-Modi

Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is a prime accused in USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, has been further remanded in custody till February 27, 2020 by a court in the United Kingdom.

Modi appeared before the UK court recently, through a videolink from his London prison.

The routine “call-over” hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court was presided over by Judge David Robinson, who told Modi that his case is proceeding in accordance with the directions for a final hearing on May 11, 2020.

The judge has set the next 28-day remand for February 27, 2020.

It may be recalled that Modi, 48, has been in Wandsworth Prison in the UK since March 2019 when he was first arrested. He failed to get bail despite five attempts.

Modi’s extradition trial is scheduled for five days beginning from May 11, 2020, with the case management hearings set to begin after all the evidence has been handed to the court for the trial.

He will remain in judicial custody pending a full extradition trial scheduled and would have to appear for call-over hearings until the case management for the trial starts from May 2020.

He has denied charges of fraud and money laundering even as his defense team led by barrister Hugo Keith, has claimed that the Indian government has wrongly tarnished his name.

During the last call-over hearing in September 2019, Judge David Robinson had told Nirav Modi that there was nothing substantial to deal with and that the court was working towards a five-day extradition trial hearing scheduled during May 11 to May 15, 2020.

Modi has been behind bars at Wandsworth Prison, since his arrest on March 19, 2019, after an extradition warrant was executed by the Scotland Yard based on charges brought by the Indian government.

During subsequent hearings, the UK court has been told by the Indian government that Modi was the “principal beneficiary” of fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) which was allegedly part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB as well as launder proceeds of that crime.

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