NATIONAL

U.K. court remands Nirav till June 27

Diamond trader Nirav Modi, wanted for fraud and money laundering amounting to nearly $2 billion in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) case, was on Thursday remanded till June 27 by a U.K. court. The court also directed the Indian government to confirm within 14 days which prison he would be held in if he were to be extradited.

Modi was produced in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot for his first case management hearing.

The 48-year-old took notes as the judge fixed his next remand hearing via videolink for June 27 and set a 14-day deadline for Indian authorities to confirm the prison plans in India.

“There is no reason why it should not be answered within 14 days,” Judge Arbuthnot said, adding that the Arthur Road Jail would be the obvious candidate.

Ms. Arbuthnot, who ordered the extradition of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya in December 2018, had sought a video of the exact cell in which the former Kingfisher Airlines boss was to be held. She therefore indicated that if Modi was to be held within the same premises, the court would most likely not have any objections.

Modi’s barrister, Clare Montgomery, agreed that unless it was the same cell, she would be seeking a court-appointed independent prison visit to ensure that any holding cell in India met with human rights guidelines.

No further details or timelines were set for the extradition trial at Thursday’s hearing as Ms. Montgomery told the court that the defence team was yet to receive the opening position statement.

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