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Nirav Modi Threatened to Kill a Witness, Tried to Bribe Another: UK Prosecutor Opposes Bail Plea

Toby Cadman, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of Indian authorities, also alleged that evidence related to the case was destroyed on behalf of Nirav Modi’s orders.

News18.com

Updated:March 29, 2019, 8:30 PM IST
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Nirav Modi Threatened to Kill a Witness, Tried to Bribe Another: UK Prosecutor Opposes Bail Plea
File photo of diamantaire Nirav Modi.

London: Nirav Modi, the main accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank scam, had threatened to kill a witness and offered bribe to another, a UK prosecutor told the Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday while opposing his bail plea.

Toby Cadman, appearing for the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of Indian authorities, also alleged that evidence related to the case was destroyed on behalf of Nirav Modi’s orders.

“Given the scale of fraud and significant assets, a bail is opposed. He could influence witnesses if released on bail,” the prosecutor told the London court.

The prosecutor further said that Modi was a man of considerable means and had an “overwhelming desire to flee.” He has diamonds, gold and pearls of substantial value, he said. Arguing that he had not co-operated with the police in any way, Cadman said no conditions should satisfy the court to grant bail.

The case is being heard by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who is the same judge who had ordered the extradition of former Kingfisher Airlines boss Vijay Mallya in December last year. Before the hearing began, the prosecution submitted additional evidence against Nirav Modi.

The 48-year-old diamond merchant was denied bail by District Judge Marie Mallon at his first hearing soon after his arrest by Scotland Yard officers from a central London bank branch as he tried to open a new bank account and has been in custody at the HMP Wandsworth prison in south-west London since last Wednesday.

At his first court appearance after his arrest last week, the CPS, arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities, told the court that Modi is wanted for alleged "high value and sophisticated" fraud and money laundering amounting to USD 2 billion.

The CPS was joined in court by a joint Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) team that has arrived from India to assist with the extradition case.

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