Mallya’s bail extended; extradition hearing in Dec

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 27, 2018

Vijay Mallya and his son leave after an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, in central London on Tuesday   -  REUTERS

mallya   -  REUTERS

Defence team seeks time to gather evidence, expects second request for extradition from India

The full extradition case against liquor baron Vijay Mallya is set to start this December, after his defence team pushed for a later hearing on the grounds that it expected a second request for extradition to come from India, and sought enough time for all the evidence to be gathered.

The date will be confirmed at another case management hearing due to take place on July 6, which Mallya will not attend.

Mallya attended Tuesday’s case management hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, accompanied by his son. Speaking to media gathered outside the courtroom, ahead of the hearing, he accused the media of sensationalism and bias.

Appearing for Mallya, barrister Ben Watson had pushed for the full court proceedings to take place in February or March, arguing that the delays that had taken place in the presentation of evidence from India, and the potential of a second request, introduced a level of uncertainty that made a later date a pragmatic option. An earlier date would allow no time slippage, he said. However, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot settled on an earlier date in December, saying that India’s responses had been prompt to date. Speaking for the Crown Prosecution Service (which presented the case on behalf of Indian authorities) barrister Aaron Watkins of Matrix Chambers said there was a “good working relationship” with India on the case and that suggestions from the defence that there would be a further request was for now speculative. Proceedings should progress on the basis of the current request for extradition, unless and until a further request was made, he said.

Bail conditions

The judge extended Mallya’s bail conditions until the hearing on December 4. Following his arrest in April, Mallya was released on a bail bond of £650,000. He will not have to appear on July 6, and the judge will consider the defence’s requests for barriers outside the court to protect Mallya from the waiting media. The defence said Mallya had been bombarded by media on Tuesday as he arrived at the court.

Mallya is wanted in connection with a number of charges including defaulting on bank loans amounting to ₹9,000 crore. India launched formal proceedings earlier this year, but the process is likely to be drawn out, highlighting the complexities of extradition proceedings, which can involve requests for further information and assurances from India.

It was only last year that the first extradition of an individual from Britain to India took place, under a treaty that has been in existence since 1993. To be successful, an extradition request would have to show the charge over which the person was being pursued would be an offence in Britain punishable with imprisonment (so called dual criminality) as well as in keeping with the European Convention on Human Rights, among other things.

Published on June 13, 2017

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