Nirav Modi faces new charges in second UK extradition case

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India has made a second extradition request for diamantaire Nirav Modi on the basis of two new charges relating to ‘causing disappearance of evidence’ and intimidating witnesses, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Wednesday.

Modi, who is lodged in the Wandsworth jail since his arrest in March last year, is due to face extradition trial in the Westminster Magistrates Court from May 11 for large-scale fraud involving a Mumbai branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The second extradition request was certified by home secretary Priti Patel on February 20, the CPS said, adding that the two new charges are part of the case brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the multi-crore fraud case,

Modi is the subject of two sets of criminal proceedings, the first brought by CBI, and the second by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The CBI case relates to the fraud upon PNB, through the fraudulent obtaining of Letters of Understanding; the ED case relates to the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.

On the two new charges, CPS said: “The Government of India has issued this further extradition request…Put shortly, those offences relate to allegations that Nirav Deepak Modi has interfered with the CBI investigation by ‘causing disappearance of evidence’ and intimidating witnesses (‘criminal intimidation to cause death’)”.

It added that the five-day extradition hearing scheduled from May 11 will go ahead, but the two additional offences part of the CBI case will be dealt with at a separate later hearing, probably in July.

If the May hearing does not proceed due to the coronavirus pandemic situation, the two requests will be joined and heard in September. The next case management hearing will take place on April 28, the CPS said. Modi has been denied bail on four occasions by the magistrates court and the high court.

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