Mehul Choksi appeared before a magistrate to answer charges of illegal entry into Dominica
New Delhi: Diamantaire Mehul Choksi has appeared before a Dominican magistrate to answer charges of his illegal entry into a Caribbean island country following a high court order on Wednesday, local media reported.
He appeared before a magistrate in a wheelchair wearing a blue T-shirt and black shorts.
Earlier in the day, Dominican Supreme Court Judge Bernie Stephenson ordered her to appear before a magistrate after hearing about three hours in a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of a businessman who claimed to have been abducted in Antigua and neighboring Barbuda. By force brought to the Caribbean Islands nation.
He postponed the habeas corpus case until Thursday reports Dominica News Online.
Choksi was due to appear before a magistrate at 4 pm (Dominica time) today because, according to their law, when Dominican police arrest a person, he must be brought before a court within 72 hours, and this has not happened before. Meanwhile, Choksi’s lawyers prepare to appeal to the high court if their client reaches a decision.
Choksi was arrested in Dominica for unauthorized entry after his mysterious disappearance in the neighboring Caribbean country Antigua and Barbuda, where he had been living since 2018 after fleeing India in January of that year. Within a few days, a scam emerged.
Choksi and his niece Nirav Modi are required for allegedly embezzling $ 13,500 in public funds from Punjab National Bank (PNB) through letters of commitment. Both face CBI and ED probe.
The diamantaire, who went missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda, where she lived since 2018 as a citizen, was arrested in neighboring Dominica for illegal entry after a romantic escape with her rumored girlfriend.
Choksi’s wife Preeti told the media that the woman in question was not his girlfriend.
He said the woman knew him and used to go with him. He said Choksi was abducted by people who looked like Indians and Antiguan when he met the woman.
At Wednesday’s trial, Choksi was present at a video conference from Dominica China Friendship Hospital while his lawyers were in court.
The judge asked the authorities to share court documents with Choksi, who was hospitalized.
His lawyers said he did not feel safe in the hands of the police and should be returned to Antigua and Barbuda, local media announced.
He also stated he would pay for his safety, took up the symptoms found in his body, and was hospitalized. If there is a counter-decision, Choksi has the option to appeal to the higher courts.
Last week, the Dominican government issued a statement to the media confirming the citizenship of Choksi and Antigua, and Barbuda.
“Once the Antigua governments have given the information, organizations will be made for Mr. Mehul Choksi to be returned to Antigua,” the statement said.
A team of multi-agency officials led by the CBI DIG has traveled to Dominica to bring Choksi to India when a court adjusts his deportation to India.
Choksi’s arrest has sparked political unrest in neighboring Caribbean Island states – Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica – with allegations that opposition groups have backed the businessman to have an Interpol Red Notice against him.
Dominican Opposition Leader Lennox Linton has had to deny reports of a meeting of Chetan Choksi, Mehul Choksi’s brother, or receive any money from him.
“I don’t know Chetan Choksi. I’ve never seen him. I’ve never talked to him. I’ve never faced him,” Dominica News Online cited in a video message published by Linton.
Local media in the Associate Times had previously suspected that Choksi arrived by private plane on May 29 and met Linton at his home in the Marigot area the next day for about two hours, where he donated USD 2 lakh token and promised election funds to return to raise the issue in Parliament.
The store claims that Linton introduced Mehul Choksi’s story until he met his brother Chetan. After the meeting, he began attacking the government over the arrest of a fleeing diamond.
Choksi and his niece Nirav Modi are coveted for allegedly misappropriating $ 13,500 in public funds from Punjab National Bank (PNB) through letters of responsibility.
While Modi is in a London jail after reiterated refusals of bail and opposing his deportation to India, Choksi got over the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment statement before leaving to India in the first week of January 2018. The scandal came to light later.
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