Vijay Mallya has issued his first statement following news breaking of the UK government signing off on his extradition and giving the liquor baron 14 days to file an appeal. Here's his tweet:
In his tweet, Mallya claims that he hadn't been able to initiate his appeal process before the UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, signed off on his his extradition. He adds, however, that he would do so now, exercising the option of being given 14 daya to appeal.
Mallya statement comes hours after Republic TV broke news of the UK home office's decision
The decision comes less than two months after the Westminster Magistrates' court ordered the extradition of Mallya to India, with Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot prima facie finding a case against him for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. The order had then gone to the UK Home office for approval.
Mallya's potential return to India would be a crowning achievement following India's recent successes in extraditing persons connected with various scams. Christian Michel, a middleman in the Agusta Westland scam had been extradited from Dubai in December, and just last week, another Agusta-accused Rajiv Saxena and aviation-lobbyist Deepak Talwar had been deported from the same place after their passports were cancelled.
Just days after Christian Michel's extradition and shortly before his own extradition had been ordered, a clearly spooked Mallya had appeared to have lost his unruffled demeanour and had tweeted copiously offering to settle the principal amount of his considerable dues (To the tune of Rs 9,000 crore) to a SBI-led consortium of Indian Banks. He had claimed that he was being unfairly treated and and that his Kingfisher Airlines had collapsed partly on account of high aviation fuel prices. However, a number of investigative reports by Republic TV have indicated that Mallya had successfully managed to 'lobby' Indian policymakers under the UPA - despite the RBI's protests - to evergreen his defaulting loans, and also alter aviation policy squarely to benefit his own company.
If he is brought back, a cell in Barrack 12 of Mumbai's Arthur Road jail awaits Vijay Mallya. The conditions in Indian jails had been a major argument by Mallya's attourneys - so much so, that the public prosecutor arguing for Mallya's extradition had to present a video of the jail premises for the judges to review.
Additionally, in a double whammy for Mallya, Republic TV and Republic Bharat have also learnt that India will be getting access to the Swiss Bank account details of the fallen 'King of Good Times'.