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Choksi Used Money Power to Get VVIP Treatment in Hospital, Intel Officers Suspect He May Try to Flee Again

File photo of Mehul Choksi.

File photo of Mehul Choksi.

The magistrate ordered that Choksi be sent to remand in the Dominica State Prison and in the event that he was unwell, he would receive the same medical attention that any other prisoner would receive.

Fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, who was admitted to the a hospital in Dominica’s capital city Roseau two weeks ago, was reportedly paying for and receiving VVIP treatment there.

Reports indicate that Choksi had purchased and donated air conditioners to the Dominica China Friendship Hospital for his own personal use. Other reports suggest that Choksi is under investigation for offering bribes to the medical staff and officers.

The local intelligence officers in Dominica see it as a potential threat. They are not ruling out his attempt for an international escape for the third time.

Choksi’s brother, who was present in the court, was visibly distressed at this new unanticipated development. He had previously sacked his attorney Cara Shillingford for failing to secure bail for him last week.

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On Thursday, Choksi, who is currently in judicial custody in a hospital pending trial, again failed to appear at the Magistrates’ Court in Roseau. The defence lawyers handed up a medical note to the Magistrate in which Choksi was said to be suffering from an entirely different ailment from what was conveyed on Monday.

The prosecution, led by Attorney-at-Law Lennox Lawrence, pointed out the suspicious and self-serving production of medical notes. The magistrate not convinced with the arguments of the defence lawyer. She didn’t reject the medical note.

Judge was, however, not convinced that Choksi should receive exceptional judicial treatment and be allowed to continue on remand to the hospital.

Choksi’s lawyers – a mother and daughter duo – made an impassioned plea about his medical condition. The lawyers were not allowed by the magistrate to make unsubstantiated claims about his health.

There was no medical evidence placed on the record by the defence.

The magistrate ordered that Choksi be sent to remand in the Dominica State Prison and in the event that he was unwell, he would receive the same medical attention that any other prisoner would receive.

Later after desperate last-minute and fervent pleas by Choksi’s lawyers, the magistrate ordered to convert the hospital room to jail.

The fugitive diamantaire had gone missing for a few days in Antigua and Barbuda where he had been staying as a citizen since 2018. He was traced and subsequently arrested in Dominica on May 26.

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first published:June 18, 2021, 20:03 IST