Fugitive Indian diamantaire Nirav Modi's extradition case related to the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering charges brought by the Indian government opened for a five-day hearing in a United Kingdom court today.
The 49-year-old jeweller appeared via a video link as the second leg of the trial got underway at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London.
Representatives from India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) were in court and logged into the remote court network to observe the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) present their case before District Judge Samuel Goozee.
The hearings this week are ear-marked to complete those arguments after the Indian government had submitted additional "corroboratory evidence".
It will then go on to deal with the additional extradition request, made by the Indian authorities and certified by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel earlier this year, which add on the charges of "causing the disappearance of evidence" and intimidating witnesses or "criminal intimidation to cause death" against Nirav Modi.
In line with the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Judge Goozee had directed Nirav Modi's appearance from a room in Wandsworth Prison in south-west London with social distancing norms in place for the part-remote setting of the hearings.