The hearing in the extradition trial of beleaguered businessman Vijaya Mallya continued for the second on Tuesday, with the opening arguments by the defence and a witness, aviation expert Dr. Humphreys, at the Westminster Magistrates Court in central London.
On Monday, the first day of the trial, the prosecution put forth arguments.
Here are the updates:
Dr. Humphreys testifies
“Setting up an airline anywhere is not easy... in India there are additional complexities” says aviation expert Dr. Humphreys.
Ms. Montgomery attacks the prosecution’s ‘poverty of material’ and suggests that it’s politically motivated. The BJP, the Congress and the Shiv Sena, all treat this case as an ‘opportunity to make political capital.’ “The CBI has a long and inglorious history of being politically motivated in the prosecutions it brings.” “That may sound like hyperbole, but there is evidence that shows direct correlation between allegations of corruption and election years,” she says.
Defence chief rejects suggestions
Clare Montgomery QC lays out their defence against the three main planks of the government argument around misrepresentation, the use of the loans and conduct when they were recalled.
She rejects suggestions that Kingfisher and Mr. Mallya painted a wrongly optimistic picture of the future, citing the highly uncertain nature of the airline industry and highlights the belated decision by the government to open up the sector to foreign investment.
"There is no evidence for the government to support the case they advance. Could a reasonable jury reach a safe conclusion that this was a deliberate plan to go to IDBI Bank to raise the money and default on that loan... or was it a business failure?" she asks. "Is it possible for a jury to safely conclude that can be excluded? When this is the question you realise the government's case cannot succeed," she tells Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.
Prosecution presents case
On Monday, the the prosecution, led by barrister Mark Summers QC outlined the Indian government's case against Mr. Mallya.
Their arguments were focused on alleged misrepresentations made by Mr. Mallya in loan applications made to IDBI Bank in 2009, the way the money was spent, which they argued was in contravention of the stipulated terms.
The prosecution also noted the way he attempted to squirrel the money away when the consortium of lender banks recalled the loans.
"These actions were not the actions of an honest person," Mr. Summers said, concluding they had outlined how they had shown there was a prima facie case to answer and that all remained to be discussed were over bars to extradition.