There was some light hearted moments at the UK court Friday when Judge Emma Arbuthnot hearing the second bail plea of Nirav Modi asked the prosecution whether the fugitive diamantaire would be lodged in the same jail cell along with Vijay Mallya if he is also extradited to India. The 48-year-old diamond merchant is wanted in India for alleged “high value and sophisticated” fraud and money laundering amounting to USD 2 billion.
At the very start of the hearing, Westminster Magistrates Court Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot said she was getting a sense of “deja vu”, in reference to her having ordered the extradition of Mallya in December last year.
Moreover, Nirav Modi on Friday failed in his second attempt to get bail in his extradition case at Westminster Magistrates' Court here despite his defence team vehemently trying to establish his close ties to the UK, including having to care for a pet dog.
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot declined the bail application of the 48-year-old prime accused in the USD 1-2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case on the grounds that he did pose a "substantial" flight risk and that he lacked "community ties" with the UK.
Clare Montgomery, Modi's barrister, made a series of offers to try and convince the judge to grant bail.
"He did have a son at Charterhouse, a school in London, who has now gone to university in the States and as a sign of ageing parents, led Modi to get a dog instead. None of these actions are emblematic of someone setting out to flee the country. It is nonsense to say that he is a flight risk", Montgomery claimed.
'He does not have a safe haven open to him and he has not travelled or applied for citizenship elsewhere he only qualifies for leave to remain in this country', she added.