Dominica High Court has denied bail to the fugitive diamantaire, Mehul Choksi. While announcing the order, Judge Wyanete Adrien Roberts also deemed Choksi a 'flight risk'. Choksi is currently being held at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital in Roseau.
Choksi's lawyers told the court on Friday (June 11) that he is entitled to bail as he is a CARICOM (Caribbean Community) citizen and his offence is a bailable one with a fine of EC$ 5,000. They further requested the Court to impose a cash bail, adding their client is unwell and thus, not a flight risk.
Advocate Lennox Lawrence, who appeared on behalf of the state, opposed Choksi's bail. Lawrence said that Choksi was a flight risk and has an Interpol red notice against him.
Talking about Choksi's medical condition, Lawrence stated that is not an issue since he got the required medical attention.
Choksi, 62, had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen after fleeing from India. He was detained in the neighbouring island country of Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.
His lawyers, however, alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen who looked like Antiguan and Indian and brought to Dominica on a boat.
He was brought before the Roseau magistrate on the orders of high court judge Bernie Stephenson, hearing the habeas corpus matter, to answer accusations of illegal entry for which he pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.
The promoter of Geetanjali Gems and other famous diamond brands in India had fled the country weeks before Rs 13,500 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) allegedly involving him and his nephew Nirav Modi surfaced.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today