Roseau : In a major setback to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, Dominica High Court has denied bail saying that he has no ties to Dominica and the court cannot impose any conditions which will assure it that he wouldn't abscond.
Dominica High Court also pointed out how Choksi proposed that he will stay with his brother in the hotel, but that is not a fixed address. The court also noted that his trial has not started yet. Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts of Dominica High Court decided not to grant bail to Mehul Choksi after conclusion of the submissions made by both the sides.The court also highlighted that Mehul Choksi didn't offer any strong surety before the court while he sought bail and he's a flight risk too, Antigua Newsroom reported.
Currently, Choksi has got interim relief from immediate repatriation to India by the Dominican court.
While arguing, Choksi's Counsel cited medical grounds for bail and dismissed flight risk.
The court verdict comes a few days after Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit termed Choksi as an "Indian citizen" and stated that the courts will decide what happens to the fugitive. He added that the government will protect the rights of Choksi as he awaits trial.
"The matter with this Indian citizen is before the courts, the courts will decide what happens to this gentleman and we allow the court process to go through," Loop Jamaica News quoted that Dominica PM as saying.
Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 after going out for dinner and was soon caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 13,500-crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
According to the Writeups 24, Choksi's disappearance from Antigua and Barbuda and his apparent attempt to escape to Cuba, was unlike the Hollywood drama that it was made out to be. The Caribbean newspaper said that the whole planning was to manipulate the entire scenario into an abduction story, and the media was trapped in a hoax created by Choksi's family on the advice of his lawyers.
Responding to such media reports, Mehul Choksi's brother on Monday sent a legal notice to Caribbean-based media outlet Associate Times, for publishing an article, what they termed as "fake, unsubstantiated, false and with unverified facts."
The media outlet had recently reported that Chetan Chinubhai Choksi, the elder brother of Mehul met with the leader of opposition Lennox Linton at the latter's home for two hours and had promised to pay for election donation in exchange of support from the opposition to press the matter in the parliament.
Chetan Choksi's lawyer Ayush Jindal, said his client has sought an unconditional apology and issuance of a corrigendum clarifying the correct facts, in all print and digital media, and other social media platforms.