Liquor baron and owner of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya, appeared in a court in London accompanied by his son Siddharth Mallya for a hearing related to his extradition trial, reports ANI. Vijay Mallya is wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering allegedly amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore. According to a PTI report, the 62-year-old liquor baron is back in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London for what is expected to be one of the final hearings in the case to determine the “admissibility” of some of the evidence presented by the Indian government.
The report said that Judge Emma Arbuthnot will rule on the evidence, following which she is expected to set a timetable for closing arguments and her verdict on whether the Vijay Mallya can be extradited to India to face allegations of fraud and money laundering involving his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The report added that the judge had directed both sides to submit their arguments for and against the admissibility of the material, which will be taken up this week. Judge Arbuthnot had also sought further clarifications related to the availability of natural light and medical assistance at Barrack 12 of Mumbai Central Prison on Arthur Road, where Mallya is to be held if he is extradited from Britain.
The report added that the extradition trial opened at the London court on December 4, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against the business tycoon, who has been based in the UK since he fled India in March, 2016. It will also seek to prove that there are no “bars to extradition” and that Mallya is assured a fair trial in India over his erstwhile airline’s alleged default of over Rs 9,000 crore in loans from a consortium of Indian banks. Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April, 2017 and has been out on bail on a bond worth 650,000 pounds.