Nirav Modi’s extradition trial in PNB fraud case to begin in UK

Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, fighting extradition to India on charges over the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, is set to be produced before a UK court for his trial on Monday, to take place in a part-remote setting due to the coronavirus lockdown.

It has been agreed that a limited number of legal representatives will be present physically in court for the trial, while witnesses give their evidence via videolink. Modi will be able to observe the proceedings either from the dock, if the prison authorities agree to a physical transfer, or via the judiciary’s common viewing system (CVP) from Wandsworth Prison.

The five-day hearing starting on Monday relates to the Indian government’s extradition request certified by the UK government last year.

It was also confirmed that the diamond merchant would not be giving evidence in the case, but his legal team plans to produce around six witnesses, including a jewellery expert as well as judicial and prisons experts.

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