Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi would make another bail plea on May 8 at the UK court where he is undergoing extradition proceedings to India in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering charges amounting to up to USD 2 billion.
The 48-year-old, who has been behind bars at Wandsworth prison in south-west London since his two previous bail applications were rejected following his arrest on March 19, is to appear before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court here on May 8 for a third attempt.
“The next hearing will be on 8 May. The application for bail will be heard before Judge Emma Arbuthnot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court,” said a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is representing the Indian authorities in the extradition case.
Barrister Nick Hearn from Furnival Chambers will represent the CPS at the bail hearing, while Modi will be represented by Clare Montgomery of Matrix Chambers.
At the last hearing in the case on April 26, when Modi had appeared before Judge Arbuthnot via videolink from prison, his legal team had made no application for bail and he was further remanded in judicial custody until May 24. While his two previous bail pleas have been rejected on the grounds that there was a “substantial risk he would fail to surrender”, he can make a third application if there is a considerable change in circumstances.
Modi is reportedly relying on “new evidence” and will seek to persuade the judge that this constitutes a change of circumstances so that he can be permitted to make another bail application next Wednesday.
His legal team, led by solicitor Anand Doobay, have previously offered one million pounds as security alongside an offer to meet stringent electronic tag restrictions on their client’s movements, “akin to house arrest”. It remains to be seen how they plan to bolster the application for a third attempt before the same court.