Dominica prime minister says court will decide future action on Choksi
(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
DOMINICA prime minister Rooseveltt Skerrit said courts will decide on the future course of action regarding the “Indian citizen” Mehul Choksi extradition.
In a first public statement since the fugitive businessman was held in the Caribbean nation, Skerrit said, “The rights of Mehul Choski will be respected,” local media reported.
“The matter with this Indian citizen is before the courts. The courts will decide what happens to the gentleman and we will allow the court process to go through. I do not like to get involved by making public statements in these matters,” Skerrit said.
“His rights will be respected as has been done thus far and let the court decide what will happen. We have no issues in so far as the matter relates to Antigua and or India, we are part of our own community and we must recognize our duties and responsibilities in this regard,” he added.
Choksi had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen. His lawyers alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua by policemen looking like Antiguan and Indian, and brought to Dominica on a boat.
He was arrested in Dominica on May 23 for illegal entry into the country and was denied bail by a magistrate court during a hearing on June 2.
Meanwhile, the Antigua police has begun investigations into the alleged kidnapping of the diamantaire to neighbouring Dominica after his lawyers filed a complaint there.
Besides, a Habeas Corpus petition filed by Choksi’s lawyers is pending before the Dominica High Court, which is likely to be taken up for hearing in July.
The diamantaire is wanted in a £1.32 billion loan fraud case related to the Punjab National Bank (PNB) in India.
A team of Indian officials had gone to Dominica to try deportation of Choksi, having pending Interpol Red Corner Notice, but returned last week after the High Court adjourned the matter.
Choksi is one of the main defendants in the loan fraud case related to the PNB, while his nephew Nirav Modi–also wanted in the case–is currently lodged in a London jail. Modi is contesting his extradition to India after repeated denial of his bail by courts.