Indian Fugitive In Dominica Misses Court Appearance

Mehul-Choksi
Mehul Choksi, (Photo by Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images)

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, ROSEAU, Dominica, Tues. June 15, 2021: Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi was set to appear in court Monday, but he missed that court appearance after his new lawyers said he was too ill to appear.

His attorneys, Zena Moore Dyer and Gina Dyer Munro, presented a medical certificate from Choksi’s medical doctor at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital where he has been a patient for the past two weeks claiming that he is suffering from “mental stress.”

The no-show forced Chief Magistrate Candia Carette-George to adjourn the matter to June 25th.

Choksi is facing a charge of illegally entering the island late last month. He remains under police guard as a patient at the Friendship Hospital. The judge also ordered that he be brought to court on Thursday, June 17, to be further remanded.

Last Friday, High Court judge, Justice Wyanante Adrien-Roberts denied bail to the 62-year-old Choksi who claimed that he had been kidnapped in Antigua and brought to Dominica on May 23.

She ruled that she was not satisfied that Choksi had enough ties in Dominica to not flee the island. In addition, the judge said the High Court cannot impose any condition that will assure Choksi will not abscond. But she told his lawyers that they could reapply for bail at a later date.

Choksi’s attorneys had argued that that their client as a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) citizen, is entitled to such benefits since his alleged offense is not of a serious nature. They also pleaded with the High Court to impose stringent measures as part of his bail conditions and said their client would be willing to pay any amount set out by the court as his bail sum.

Choksi was granted Antigua and Barbuda citizenship in 2017 under the island’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI). He is wanted by the Indian judicial authorities for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty including delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering.

Indian authorities want him extradited to face the charges which he denies.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said recently that police there were investigating a claim submitted in a report by the lawyers representing Choksi that their client had been kidnapped.