London: Fugitive diamond trader Nirav Modi, who is fighting extradition to India on charges over the nearly USD two billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money-laundering case, was Thursday remanded to prison until November 11 after he appeared via videolink from his jail for a regular remand hearing.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court Judge Nina Tempia confirmed that Nirav Modi’s extradition trial is scheduled between May 11 and 15 next year and that he must re-appear via videolink every 28 days for ‘call-over hearings’ until the case management for the trial kicks in from February next year.
The court was told that the 48-year-old, who spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth, faces fraud and money-laundering charges in India.
Nirav Modi has been lodged at Wandsworth prison in south-west London, one of England’s most overcrowded jails, since his arrest in March 19 on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard on charges brought by the Indian government, being represented by the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in court.
Since his arrest, his legal team, led by solicitor Anand Doobay and barrister Clare Montgomery, has made four bail applications, which have been rejected each time due to Nirav Modi being deemed a flight risk.
In her judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on his last bail appeal in June, Justice Ingrid Simler had concluded there were ‘substantial grounds’ to believe that Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to ‘abscond’.