Republic World & Joliharbourantigua.com
In a breaking development, news agency ANI on Saturday night released the first image of fugitive ex-diamantaire Mehul Choksi who is currently logged in the Dominica jail. The High Court of Dominica has restrained his removal from the country and set his Habeas Corpus petition for hearing on June 2. Choksi was then taken to Dominica-China Friendship hospital to get tested for COVID-19 and for other medical attention.
Locked behind the bars, a pale-faced and red-eyed Choksi stared at the camera through the prison grill. The runaway diamantaire is accused of allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the Punjab National Bank (PNB), using letters of undertaking. Having fled Antigua Island on May 23, Choksi was traced in Dominica and was nabbed by law enforcement personnel following the yellow notice alert issued for him.
The High Court ordered the parties to hold discussions regarding the secure placement for Mehul Choksi after his COVID test returns and asked the parties to mutually agree and inform the Court as well. Further, the Court allowed Mehul Choksi to meet his legal counsels and directed the respondents to file their affidavits by June 1.
Antigua's Police Commissioner has slammed fugitive ex-diamantaire Mehul Choksi's advocate for alleging that he was forcefully abducted, and refuted such reports citing that no such information was received, as per Antiguan media reports. Taking on Mehul Choksi's counsel over the kidnapping allegation, Antigua Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney said that assertions were being made by the former without any evidence and that even the Dominican Police did not believe the 'abduction theory'. Revealing that Mehul Choksi used a boat to get to Dominica on May 23, the Antigua Police Commissioner ruled out the involvement of any of his personnel in the matter while speaking to local media in Antigua.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, advocate Vijay Aggarwal claimed that the truth regarding the torture faced by his client Mehul Choksi will be out in the next 12 hours. Aggarwal mentioned, "He reached Dominica on Sunday. On Monday, he was taken to the police station. And the news was broken to the world on Wednesday. Because of the court proceedings, now Dominica can't take them wherever they want and the truth has a very strange way of coming out of the closet".
The government of Dominica on Thursday confirmed that its law enforcement personnel had detained fugitive ex-diamantaire, Mehul Choksi, upon his illegal entry into the country, and then, India confirmed it is sending its High-Commissioner based in Trinidad & Tobago to Dominica on June 3 to seek his extradition. Issuing a statement on Thursday, the Dominican govt said that a red alert notice has been issued for Mehul Choksi by Interpol and that their Ministry of National Security & Home Affairs was in touch with the Antiguan authorities to ascertain facts about Choksi's citizenship. The statement noted that Mehul Choksi would be repatriated to Antigua after they received information that they have sought. Arun Kumar Sahu, High Commissioner of India based in Trinidad and Tobago will travel to Dominica and a meeting between the Governments of Dominica and India would most likely be held on coming Thursday. All matters related to Indians in Dominica are subject to the High Commissioner of India based in Port of Spain, Trinidad.