By Poonam Joshi
London [UK], December 2 (ANI): Fugitive diamond dealer Nirav Modi, who is wanted in India for allegedly defrauding Punjab National Bank (PNB) of an estimated USD 2 billion, was re-remanded on Tuesday by a judge at Westminster Magistrate Court in London.
Modi's final extradition hearings in a UK Court is scheduled to be held on January 7 and 8.
Modi, 49, appeared via videolink from Wandsworth Prison in south London where he has been held since his arrest in March 2019 for his regular four-weekly "call-over hearing" with Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.
A number of bail applications made by Modi have been repeatedly refused despite the diamantaire offering increasing amounts of money as security and agreeing to ever-stricter bail conditions.
Lawyers for Modi, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - which is representing the Indian government in its efforts to have Modi extradited to India - will make their final submissions in the case on January 7 and 8 before District Judge Samuel Goozee, who will deliver his final judgment later in early 2021.
At the last hearing in the case in early November, Judge Goozee cited the previous judgment passed by judge Arbuthnot against the Kingfisher Airlines tycoon Vijay Mallya that the Indian government had a prima facie case for extraditing Mallya to India and stated that he was "bound" by it.
Mallya subsequently went through the UK legal appeals process and is currently awaiting a final extradition decision by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Aside from the charges relating to the fraud against Punjab National Bank, Modi also faces charges of money laundering, witness intimidation and destruction of evidence.
The CBI alleges that Modi and a number of PNB employees conspired to issue lines of credit - called "Letters of Understanding" - to various companies controlled by Modi without the necessary credit checks or commission charges, charges that Modi denies.
They also claim that Modi's mental health has deteriorated and that he is unfit to face trial. (ANI)