The Dominica High Court has denied bail to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in the case of illegal entry into the island country on the grounds that he is a “flight risk,” according to local media reports.
Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts of Dominica high court also observed that Choksi, wanted in India in Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case, has no ties with Dominica and did not offer any strong surety before the court while denying his bail.
Choksi’s legal team argued for bail citing medical grounds and not a flight risk.
Notably, the court order came after Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit recently termed Choksi an “Indian citizen”.
Skerrit had said that the courts will decide what happens to Choksi and will allow the court process to go through, local media reports said.
The reports also said that currently, the 62-year-old fugitive has got interim relief from immediate repatriation to India by the Dominican high court.
The HC also stated that Choksi proposed he will stay with his brother in the hotel, which is not a fixed address. The court also noted that his trial has not started yet.
On June 23, Choksi, who has an Interpol Red Notice against him, had mysteriously gone missing from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen after fleeing from India.
In his plea, Choksi alleged that he was abducted in Antigua on May 23 and brought to Dominica, where he was detained.
On June 3, presiding Magistrate Candia Carrette-George had sided with the Prosecutor and stated that given the ‘severity of the matter, she is not convinced that Choksi will stay in Dominica to attend his trial, Dominica News Online reported.
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