The trial of the alleged Indian fugitive and Antiguan citizen, Mehul Choksi, which was expected to begin in the Roseau Magistrate court has been adjourned to June 25, 2021, due to a decline in the defendant’s health condition.
On June 2, 2021, the 62-year-old diamantaire who is wanted by Indian judicial authorities for allegedly cheating the Punjab National Bank of almost two billion US dollars, India’s largest bank fraud in decades, pleaded not guilty to illegal entry in Dominica.
According to the charge of the police, Choksi entered Dominica illegally on May 24, 2021, at Toucari Beach. However his attorneys alleged that he was kidnapped, beaten and unwillingly brought to Dominica from Antigua.
At the hearing on Monday/, two of Dominica’s top criminal attorneys were added to Choksi’s legal team for this matter. Zena Moore-Dyer and her daughter Gina Dyer-Munro have joined Julien Prevost, Wayne Norde and Cara Shillingford-Marsh.
The defense attorneys presented to the court a medical document which stated that Choksi is incapacitated and as a result, he was unable to attend the proceeding.
The prosecution team also saw the addition of Harpreet Singh Giani, an Indian-born lawyer based in London, England who said he appears as a consultant to the prosecution on the matter.
The States case is led by the acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Sherma Dalrymple, with assistance from attorney-at-law Lennox Lawrence, Jodie Luke and Heather Felix Evans.
Choksi is remanded in police custody at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) where he has been a patient since May 29, 2021.
On June 11, a High court judge denied bail to the alleged fugitive on the basis that he is a “flight risk.”