District Choose Samuel Goozee, presiding over the trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Courtroom in London, set June 11 because the date for the 49-year-old diamond service provider to be produced through videolink from Wandsworth Jail in south-west London for his 28-day call-over remand listening to, with the case itself set for a case administration listening to on the finish of August.
“I hope Mr Modi by the point we get to September, the present restrictions on motion from prisons have been eased and you’ll be in court docket in individual to observe the proceedings,” the choose informed Modi, on the finish of a four-day partial listening to of the case.
“The state of affairs is being saved underneath fixed assessment as we react to the present pandemic,” he mentioned, in reference to the partly distant setting during which the case was heard this week as a result of coronavirus lockdown.
The primary a part of the case targeted on establishing a prima facie case towards Modi however the schedule needed to be re-timetabled as the federal government of India submitted an additional set of paperwork as “corroboratory proof” on Wednesday. The choose allowed the extra proof to be launched however agreed that Modi’s defence crew would require sufficient time to “digest” them.
Subsequently, a listening to already deliberate to cope with a second extradition request, made by the Indian authorities and authorized by UK Residence Secretary Priti Patel earlier this 12 months on two extra prices of “inflicting the disappearance of proof” and intimidating witnesses or “prison intimidation to trigger loss of life”, has been successfully prolonged to conclude the prima facie case arguments.
The choose has already indicated that the 2 requests are “inextricably linked” and due to this fact he can be handing down an general judgment on the conclusion of the second listening to, anticipated to be held between September 7 and 11.
On Thursday, Modi’s barrister Clare Montgomery deposed a gems skilled, Dr Richard Taylor, as a defence witness who spoke at size concerning the nitty-gritties of the diamond commerce and the way the Nirav Modi model was well-known all over the world.
“The trade depends on sending out high-value product to corporations and to do this they require belief and confidence,” he mentioned, in an try to ascertain Modi’s credibility within the enterprise.
“India is the most important and most essential centre of diamond reducing… it was a really vital pattern that he [Modi] was a part of,” he added.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, cross-examined him to attempt to set up that the method of “dismantling” diamonds or pearls from jewelry as a part of an “eternal cycle” with no outward gross sales was not a commercially sound apply.
His witness assertion follows that of Thierry Fritsch, a high-end French jewelry skilled, and Justice Abhay Thipsay from India throughout the course of the week.
Modi has been following the court docket proceedings through videolink from a room at Wandsworth Jail, the place he has been lodged since his arrest in March final 12 months. Wearing formals, he might be seen listening fastidiously and sometimes making notes as he refers to papers on a desk.
He has made repeated makes an attempt at bail over the previous 12 months, every of which have been turned down as he’s deemed a flight threat. The jeweller was arrested on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard.
The fees towards the diamond service provider centre round his companies Diamonds R Us, Photo voltaic Exports and Stellar Diamonds making fraudulent use of a credit score facility supplied by the Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB), often known as “letters of enterprise” (LoUs).
In line with the Indian authorities’s case, quite a lot of PNB workers conspired with Modi to make sure LoUs have been issued to those corporations with out making certain they have been topic to the required credit score examine, with out recording the issuance of the LoUs and with out charging the required fee upon the transactions. This resulted in a fraud amounting to almost $2 billion.