Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Modi to appear via videolink from prison for UK hearing

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Fugitve diamantaire Nirav Modi is set to appear via videolink from prison for a routine remand hearing before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Thursday.

The 48-year-old, who has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his arrest in March in connection with the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, will be appearing for the first time since his bail appeal was rejected by the UK High Court earlier this month, his fourth attempt at bail.

In her judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Ingrid Simler concluded there were “substantial grounds” to believe that Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to “abscond”. Reiterating similar concerns as those previously raised by Westminster Magistrates’ Court during earlier bail attempts, Judge Simler ruled that after considering all the material “carefully”, she had found strong evidence to suggest there had been interference with witnesses and destruction of evidence in the case and concluded it can still occur.

“The applicant has access to considerable financial resources, supported by an increased (bail bond security) offer of 2 million pounds,” the judge noted.

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