• Friday, June 21, 2024

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UK court clears extradition of Jayesh Patel

Jaysukh Ranpariya, also known as Jayesh Patel, is wanted for four linked conspiracies

By: Pramod Thomas

A UK court on Thursday (30) cleared the extradition of a man wanted in India to stand trial for four linked conspiracies to murder, and sent the case to Home Secretary Suella Braverman to sign off on the ruling.

Jaysukh Ranpariya, also known as Jayesh Patel, is wanted for four linked conspiracies and each conspiracy to murder is linked to attempting to extort money or property from individuals linked to the sale and development of plots of land in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

District Judge Sarah-Jane Griffiths handed down her judgment at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London at the end of a series of hearings in the case, which concluded in December last year.

She described the case, dating back two years, as “extremely challenging” with the evolving evidence and issues.

“I am satisfied to the necessary standard that the extradition request contains sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case,” Judge Griffiths noted.

“In each case the killing was to be by way of a contract killing. One of his victims died; three survived. The individual who was murdered was an advocate, Kirit Joshi,” according to India’s extradition request.

Court documents showed that Ranpariya sought to take control of land owned by others, by the production of false documentation, or would attempt to block or dissuade prospective purchasers from acquiring land being sold by his rivals.

Those who were targeted or who took steps to support victims of his extortion were subjected to “threats and intimidation”, the court heard.

The extradition proceedings are focused upon the allegations of murder and conspiracy, or attempt to murder and are alleged to have occurred between 2018 and 2021.

“In each case, the defendant (Ranpariya) is alleged to have commissioned others (by contract) to kill specific persons,” the judgment noted.

The judge said she found “sufficient evidence” to establish a prima facie case against the accused with respect to each set of allegations.

On Ranpariya’s defence on mental health grounds, the judge referenced the case of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and concluded that: “As in Modi, I find that I cannot ‘quantify the risk of suicide’ in this case other than to say it is an elevated risk. I accept for the purposes of this judgment that it may well reach a high or substantial risk should his extradition be ordered.

“That said, as submitted by [Crown Prosecution Service barrister] Miss Dobbin KC, the defendant is not suffering from an enduring and severe mental illness like schizophrenia or a psychotic illness (as set referred to in Modi).”

Ranpariya remains behind bars at HMP Belmarsh Prison in south-east London and followed the court proceedings with the help of a Gujarati interpreter.

He can appeal against the judgment in the High Court, which can be heard after the home secretary has signed off on the extradition in the next few months.

Ranpariya was subject to an Interpol Red Notice and arrested on March 17, 2021, in London.

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