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Vijay Mallya extradition hearing continues for second day

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 05, 2017

Vijay Mallya arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London. Photo: Reuters

The hearing in the extradition case against beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya resumed at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday with the defence's opening arguments, and their witness Dr Humphreys.

The prosecution put forth arguments on the first day, stating that the actions of Mallya were not that of an honest person. Their arguments were focused on alleged misrepresentations made by Mallya in loan applications made to IDBI Bank in 2009, the way the money was spent, which they argued was in contravention of the stipulated terms. The prosecution also noted the way he attempted to squirrel the money away when the consortium of lender banks recalled the loans.

"These actions were not the actions of an honest person," Mr. Summers said, concluding they had outlined how they had shown there was a prima facie case to answer and that all remained to be discussed were over bars to extradition.

'NO EVIDENCE'

Clare Montgomery, defence barrister says, "There is no evidence for the government to support the case they advance."

"Could a reasonable jury reach a safe conclusion that this was a deliberate plan to go to IDBI Bank to raise the money and default on that loan... or was it a business failure?" she asks. "Is it possible for a jury to safely conclude that can be excluded?"

"When this is the question you realise the government's case cannot succeed," she tells Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.

MALLYA'S DEFENCE INVOLVES THE NATURE OF THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY

Montgomery lays out their defence against the three main planks of the government argument around misrepresentation, the use of the loans and conduct when they were recalled.

She rejects suggestions that Kingfisher and Mallya painted a wrongly optimistic picture of the future, citing the highly uncertain nature of the airline industry and highlights the belated decision by the government to open up the sector to foreign investment.

Concluding her opening arguments, Ms. Montgomery pointed to evidence presented in the response documents by the prosecution, insisting they were not supported by underlying material. some were " obviously false and at most we have assertions made by the relevant officers they say are true in non judicial format.” In addition, she said there were 12 statements, which were materially identical to one or more other statements. “There is no evidence these are based on free recall...they seem to be template affirmations reflecting word for word identical answers.”

Concluding she then suggested political motivations were involved in the case. “The CBI has a long and inglorious history of being politically motivated in the prosecutions it brings. This may sound like hyperbole but there is research that shows direct correlation between the allegations of corruption and election years…the same can be said of the enforcement directorate…the whole case has been politicised by the BJP, Congress, and Shiv Sena. They all treat it as an opportunity to make political capital on the assumption there was fraud. “

Published on December 05, 2017
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