India Markets closed

Vijay Mallya Returns To The U.K. Court For Day Three Of His Extradition Trial

The Smarter way to get your business news - Subscribe to BloombergQuint on WhatsApp

Vijay Mallya returned to the U.K. court for the third day of his extradition trial, which will determine whether the embattled liquor tycoon can be forced to return to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering allegedly amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore.

The 61-year-old has claimed, via his legal team, that the case brought against him is “politically motivated” and that it was being used as an opportunity to make “political capital” by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as well as Congress and Shiv Sena.

“The CBI has a long and inglorious history of being politically motivated in cases with a direct correlation between allegations of corruption and election years,” his barrister Clare Montgomery had told Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The CBI team in London, led by Special Director Rakesh Asthana, was present in court during this claim.

Laying out her counter-arguments before Judge Emma Arbuthnot, Montgomery had also called into question the ‘admissibility’ of some of the evidence submitted by the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of the Indian government. She claimed that much of the material was questionable and there were at least a dozen documents submitted which read like an identical ‘template.’

Also Read: Mallya Funded Formula-1 Team With Kingfisher Fraud, Lawyer Says

The judge has asked both sides to submit a document laying out the factors for and against the admissibility of the evidence submitted by the Indian authorities by the end of this week.

While the defence claims there is ‘zero’ evidence to support a credible case of fraud against Mallya, the CPS had opened the trial on Monday with a detailed chronology of events to show “by virtue of evidence a prima facie case” against the boss of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

The prosecution's case rests on the “three chapters of dishonesty” by Mallya – misrepresentations to various banks to acquire loans, the misuse of the loans and his conduct after the banks recalled the loans.

“Instead of acting as an honest person and doing what he could to meet his obligations, he sets about erecting lines of defence,” CPS barrister Mark Summers told the judge.

Also Read: No Evidence To Support Fraud Case Against Mallya, Defence Team Says

The charge of money laundering, for which Mallya had been re-arrested in October, is being focussed on less at this stage with fraud being central to the CPS case.

Today’s hearing, expected to take place over some ‘interruptions’ while Judge Emma Arbuthnot attends to other cases, is likely to focus on the testimony of a financial sector expert referred to in court as Mr. Rex. He will be the second defence witness to take the stand, following aviation expert Dr. Humphreys, who had been brought in on Tuesday to support the defence argument that there was no intentional fraud involved in the default on bank loans by the then struggling Kingfisher Airlines.

Mallya, who has been based in the U.K. since March 2016, was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April this year and has been out on bail on a bond worth 650,000 pounds.

His extradition trial is scheduled to end on Dec. 14, with Friday marked as a non-sitting day. A timeframe for the judgement in the case will be determined at the end of the trial after closing arguments have been made.

If the judge rules in favour of extradition at the end of the trial, the U.K. home secretary must order Mallya’s extradition within two months. However, the case can go through a series of appeals in higher U.K. courts before arriving at a conclusion.

The Smarter way to get your business news - Subscribe to BloombergQuint on WhatsApp

. Read more on Law & Policy by BloombergQuint.