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Mallya extradition case: London Court to review prison conditions

Vidya Ram London | Updated on September 12, 2018 Published on September 12, 2018

Vijay Mallya leaves Westminster Magistrates court in London, Britain in this July 2018 file photo.   -  Reuters

Beleaguered liquor baron is to appear in Westminster court, judge set to hear closing arguments

Vijay Mallya is set to appear in court on Wednesday, as India’s efforts to extradite him continue at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London. Closing oral submissions that were due to be held in July were postponed after the judge was unable to hear the case as scheduled.

During the hearing, the judge is expected to review video footage provided by the Indian authorities at her request, following defence demands for an inspection of Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai where Mallya would be housed, before and after any court proceedings if extradited and sentenced. Mallya’s defence team had insisted that the Indian government’s assurances couldn’t be relied upon, but the judge rejected the call for an inspection and asked for a video to be taken at midday to allay concerns about lighting.

Concerns around prison conditions have formed a key plank of Mallya’s defence against the efforts to extradite him. During an extensive hearing in December Alan Mitchell, a Scottish prison expert and elected member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, questioned prison conditions facing Mallya , including around the adequacy of medical care, facilities, lighting and the opportunity for experts such as himself to conduct visits. India has since provided further assurances on these issues.

The hearing on the Indian government’s efforts to extradite Mallya to face charges of fraud and money laundering kicked off in December, but has been beset by delays and requests for further clarification and assurances. A separate case has been going through a London commercial court, brought by a consortium of 13 public sector banks seeking to recover £1.145 billion worth of assets. In July, the Court of Appeal rejected Mallya’s attempt to appeal the commercial court’s decision on the Karnataka judgement and the WFO.

Published on September 12, 2018
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