London [UK], June 15 (ANI): Expressing discontent over the involvement of Indian authorities in the Dominican court process in the case related to Mehul Choksi, his UK lawyer Michael Polack claimed that the plan was to get the fugitive diamantaire back to India without any legal process taking place in the Caribbean country.
In an interview with ANI, Polack said there has been a lot of propaganda against Choski and he was kept away from lawyers for days.
"There has been a lot of propaganda against him. Circumstances demonstrate that the Indian government wants Mr Choksi. There were proceedings in Antigua for him to be extradited to India, are undergoing and will last for another 5-6 years," he said.
"We have been asking for the Antiguan police report but that has not taken place. You have heard me quote from a report leaked to Indian media, which does support Choksi saying about being kidnapped and taken into Dominica," he added.
Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 after going out for dinner and was soon caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 13,500-crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) in 2018.
Polack claimed that the Dominican people are upset about the international attention brought to their country and find it embarrassing that their country is being used.
"The involvement of Indian authorities in the Dominican court process is unfortunate. He was kept away from lawyers for days. The plan was to get him to India without any legal process taking place in Dominica to whisk him away. But local lawyer managed to get an account from him, and prevented them from doing it," he said.
"He took up Antiguan citizenship, have all the rights and protection from the court, as a citizen. It's not for the Antiguan Prime Minister (Gaston Browne) to make that decision. Any statement by PM is not helpful," he added.
The case of Choksi, who has been booked on charges of illegally entering the Caribbean nation, was heard by Chief Magistrate Candia Carette-George at the Magistrate's Court in Roseau on Monday.
The prosecution, led by Dominica's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sherma Dalrymple, told the court that it is "ready to proceed to trial", Antigua News Room reported.
Dalrymple also took the opportunity to introduce the addition of Indian lawyer Harpreet Giana to the state's team of prosecutors.
Mehul Choksi failed to appear in court on June 14 for the commencement of the trial. (ANI)