New Delhi: The United Kingdom’s Westminster Magistrates Court today accepted all the evidence submitted by the CBI and fixed the next date of hearing as July 11 while hearing an argument in the Vijay Mallya extradition case.
When the court reconvenes, oral submissions will be made on closing arguments to be submitted in writing to Judge Emma Arbuthnot of the Westminster Magistrate’s Court over the next two months.
Earlier today, Mallya was back in court for the hearing during which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) got a boost as the judge confirmed that the bulk of the evidence submitted by the Indian authorities will be admissible.
The 62-year-old, who is wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, is currently on a 650,000 pounds bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant by Scotland Yard in April last year.
At the last hearing in the case on March 16, the judge had noted that it was “blindingly obvious” that rules were being broken by Indian banks which sanctioned some of the loans to the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines owned by Mallya.
At the end of that hearing, the judge had indicated her decision on the admissibility of evidence would go in favour of admitting some material and excluding some affidavits, which she said did not pertain to the prima facie case of fraud.
Mallya’s counsel, Clare Montgomery, had also argued that evidence which was claimed as a “blueprint of dishonesty” by the CPS was in fact a privileged interaction between Mallya and his lawyer about “legal advice in clear contemplation of litigation” and hence should be inadmissible.
The judge said she was still “on the fence” about admitting that correspondence.
Today’s hearing comes days after the Indian government’s High Court appeal against a previous Westminster Magistrates’ Court extradition ruling that had been denied.