Mallya extradition trial set for Dec 4

Vidya Ram LONDON | Updated on January 09, 2018


The eight-day extradition hearing of Vijay Mallya is set to commence on December 4, the judge presiding the case at Westminster Magistrates Court confirmed on Monday, following a final brief case management hearing on India’s efforts to extradite the businessman. The trial will commence with a first day of opening arguments and witness testimony in the afternoon.

The court is yet to decide on a suggestion from the judge about whether written closing submissions - which Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot is known to prefer in cases she hears - would be filed in December at the end of the case or in January. The defense objected to the suggestion, arguing that delaying it to January could be used by the prosecution to introduce fresh material - evidential or non evidential. “We want to draw a line with the material that comes through,” said barrister Clare Montgomery, appearing for Mr Mallya,, who is pushing for a decision from the court by December 24.

“Things have a habit of popping up,” Ms. Arbuthnot concurred, leaving the option open for when the written closing arguments were to be submitted. The defense previously criticized the introduction of supplemental money laundering charges, which led to Mr. Mallya’s re-arrest, and re-release on bail in early October.

A number of case management hearings have taken place since Mr Mallya’s arrest in April. Efforts by the defense to push the trial hearing to January in previous hearings did not succeed and the timetable remains the same despite fresh evidence introduced to the case last month. Last week, the defense provided the prosecution with their skeleton arguments, in response to the prosecution case. Speaking for the Crown Prosecution Service barrister Arron Watksins said the ball was now in the government’s court, when it came to providing a skeleton response ahead of the hearing by next week.

The hearing also provided a glimpse of some of the defense witnesses who are set to appear, including Margaret Sweeney, the chief accountant at Force India F1 Team, Dr. Humphrey’s an aviation expert, who is set to give evidence on the first day of proceedings, and Professor Lau, a legal expert. Another person set to give evidence, it previous emerged, is Dr. Alan Mitchell who has previously given evidence in other extradition cases on prison conditions in India.

One of the hearing days - December 11 - will coincide with the first hearing in Uber’s appeal against Transport for London’s decision not to renew its operating license, which is set to take place in the same court room.

Published on November 20, 2017

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