Dismissing fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi's "mental health concerns," UK extradition and district judge Samuel Goozee on Thursday ruled that Modi will be extradited to India to stand trial. He said Modi has a case to answer for in India, and that Barrack 12 at Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai is fit for him. The judge said, "mental health concerns" as cited by Modi were not unusual in a man in his circumstances. Nirav Modi conspired to destroy evidence and intimidate witnesses and he won't be denied justice if he's extradited to India, the UK judge ruled.
"I am satisfied there is a prima facie case. Now the order awaits to be ratified by the UK Home Secretary. Nirav Modi can challenge this verdict in the appeals court on a point of law," the extradition judge said. He added that submissions from Nirav Modi conflict with his statements. Also, there is no evidence that if extradited, he will not get due justice in India, justice Goozee said.
The UK judge said how LoUs (letters of understanding) were obtained concludes that "Modi and Co" were operating fraudulently. "Many of these are a matter for trial in India. I am satisfied again that there is evidence he could be convicted. There's a prima facie case of money laundering," the judge ruled.
The judge said he agreed with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) that Nirav Modi tried to show post facto that he was sorting out the LoU issue with the bank and that his link with bank officials had been established.
"I am satisfied that there is evidence that Mr Modi could be convicted. I have considered the case and made the following findings: LOUs issued in the same manner between 2011 and 2017 without appropriate measures. Transactions were not entered in the CBS system of the bank in a way to mislead. There are clear links between Nirav Modi and other connivers including bank officials in question," the judge ruled.
He ruled that Nirav Modi personally subsequently wrote to Punjab National Bank, and acknowledged the debt he promised to repay. The CBI is also investigating that Nirav Modi firms were dummy partners. "I do not accept that Nirav was involved in a legitimate business. I find no genuine transactions and believe there is a process of dishonesty. These companies were shadow companies operated by Nirav Modi," the judge said.
Nirav Modi is the main accused in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud involving the Punjab National Bank. He has been lodged in London Jail since March 19, 2019, after a request from CBI and ED, and faces extradition to India.
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