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Friday, August 06, 2021

Dominica court adjourns till June 25 hearing in Mehul Choksi’s illegal entry into Caribbean island nation

His legal team submitted a medical certificate from the doctors of Dominica China Friendship Hospital, where Choksi is being held, of "mental stress" and elevated blood pressure.

By: PTI | Dominica |
June 15, 2021 7:42:37 am
Antigua police has started investigating Mehul Choksi's 'abduction': PM Gaston BrowneMehul Choksi is taken in a wheelchair to the Magistrate's court by police after his arrest for illegal entry into the country, in Roseau, Dominica, Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (AP/PTI File Photo)

A Dominica Magistrate Court has adjourned till June 25 the hearing into alleged illegal entry of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi into the Caribbean island nation, local media there reported.

On Monday, the Magistrate Court was to start hearing the case of Choksi’s “illegal entry” into the country on May 23 but he was a “no show”, a media website Natureislenews reported.

His legal team submitted a medical certificate from the doctors of Dominica China Friendship Hospital, where Choksi is being held, of “mental stress” and elevated blood pressure.

Chief Magistrate Carette-George adjourned the matter to June 25 and ordered to keep Choksi, wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore scam in the Punjab National Bank here, under police watch at the hospital.

He also asked authorities to present Choksi before the court on June 17 for further remand.

Choksi’s lawyer in London, Michael Polak, issued a statement on Monday claiming new evidence has emerged which shows that Barbara Jabarica, the woman with whom the diamantaire was last seen, sought booking of an accomodation with a jetty.

He alleged Jabarica, who is suspected to be part of Choksi’s “kidnapping” from Antigua, had enquired about a neighbouring property too, which was booked by a UK-based company.

Polak issued two videos showing a small boat which, he alleged, was used to transport a gagged and beaten Choksi to open seas where he was transferred to a bigger boat to be taken to Dominica.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January, 2018 weeks before the scam in the Punjab National Bank rocked the Indian banking industry.

Modi escaped to Europe and was finally held in London where he is contesting his extradition to India, while Choksi took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 where he was staying since his escape from Delhi.

Choksi, 62, had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where he was staying since 2018 as a citizen, since he fled Delhi.

He was detained in neighbouring island country Dominica on May 23 for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.

His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguans and Indians and brought to Dominica on a boat.

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