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'Had No Clue': Antigua PM's Defence Amid Doubts Over His 'Role' in Choksi's Escape Plot

Photos of Mehul Choksi with injury marks on his eye and hands.

Photos of Mehul Choksi with injury marks on his eye and hands.

Choksi and his lawyers claimed that he was kidnapped and taken to Dominica against his will last week.

Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne in a statement said that he had no clue about the alleged abduction of Mehul Choksi.

“Let me state here that even though Choksi’s citizenship was unsettled, we respected his legal and constitutional rights as a citizen, and we did nothing to abridge those rights whilst he was on Antiguan and Barbudan soil,” Browne said, according to a report on news website Antigua Newsroom, quoted by Hindustan Times.

If Antigua was “desperate” to get rid of Choksi, Browne said, “The better option would have been to have the Indians come here, bring a plane and pack him on the plane and send him back to India.”

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit also came under fire for allegedly collaborating and being “part of a plot against the rule of law” to send the fugitive diamantaire to India.

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Choksi and his lawyers claimed that he was kidnapped and taken to Dominica against his will last week.

“After mischievously accusing my administration of harbouring Mehul Choksi, who has an Interpol Red Notice, they are now seeking to sanitize this fugitive to get campaign funding. My administration’s revocation of Choksi’s citizenship has been frustrated by a litigation brought against the state," Browne said in a statement.

He further said: “We are determined to revoke Choksi’s citizenship and to concurrently pursue his extradition to India to face criminal charges there. There has been no violation of Choksi’s legal and constitutional protections, despite the decision of my administration to revoke his citizenship."

United Progressive party in a press release noted that Choksi, who is facing extradition to India by way of the normal legal and constitutional process, alleges that he was abducted and taken against his will to Dominica.

Prime Minister Browne had indicated that Dominica should deport Choksi directly to India and not return him to Antigua and Barbuda because he would be protected by the Constitutional rights.

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first published:June 01, 2021, 12:33 IST