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The Westminster magistrates’ court in London extended the bail of liquor baron and Force India F1 team chief, Vijay Mallya, to April 2 in connection with his extradition case. Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April last year and has been out on bail on a bond worth £650,000.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot has extended Mallya’s £650,000 bail as it raised concern over the reliability of evidence provided by India in connection with the case.
While arguing in the matter, Mallya’s defence counsel Clare Montgomery in the court questioned the admissibility, reliability and evidentiary value of documents submitted by India, in particular, the statements submitted by a wide array of witnesses such as banking officials. Montgomery argued that evidence that was claimed as a “blueprint of dishonesty” by the CPS was in fact a privileged conversation between Mallya and his lawyer about “legal advice in clear contemplation of litigation” and hence should be inadmissible.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian government, has been asked by the court to respond on January 22 on the claims made by Montgomery.
If the judge rules in favour of the Indian government, the UK home secretary will have two months to sign Mallya’s extradition order. However, both sides will have the chance to appeal in higher courts in the UK against the chief magistrate’s verdict.