London: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, fighting extradition to India on charges over the nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, was further remanded in custody at a hearing Thursday and asked to appear again January 30.
Nirav Modi appeared for his regular 28-day ‘call-over’ appearance from the Wandsworth prison here at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. His extradition trial is scheduled for May 11 and is expected to last over five days.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram who was the judge Thursday, asked if there are any other issues to be discussed now. Nirav Modi, wearing black, light grey and white sweat shirt and grey bottom, said ‘no’.
The 48-year-old had moved yet another bail application last November with an ‘unprecedented’ house arrest guarantee, akin to those imposed on terrorist suspects, as well as citing mental health issues from being behind bars at Wandsworth Prison in south-west London since his arrest in March last year.
But the bail plea was turned down by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot over continued fears of witness intimidation and failure to surrender before the court for his extradition trial in May 2020.
“The past is a prediction of what might happen in the future,” Judge Arbuthnot had said at the time.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian government in the extradition proceedings, said there is no further prospect of an appeal for bail in a higher court as the UK High Court has already turned down Nirav Modi’s plea earlier this year.
“You only get to go once and can’t keep appealing over and over,” a CPS spokesperson said.