Mehul Choksi’s lawyer claims he was brought to Dominica “illegally” because he was unable to appeal to the UK Privy Council KiyLondon
Lawyer for Indian fugitive diamond dealer Mehul Choksi, who recently faced charges of illegal entry into Dominica, says he was “illegally” taken from Antigua and Barbuda to Dominica. The reason was that Mehul Choksi did not have the option of appealing to the British Privy Council. Michael Pollock, who was part of the legal team representing Choksi, made the claim.
Pollock said his team also lodged a complaint with the UK Metropolitan Police’s war crimes unit alleging that Choksi had been tortured. Describing Choksi’s case as a “flagrant violation of the rule of law and fundamental rights,” Pollock said: “What happened to Choksi is horrific. He was kidnapped by luring her with a property. A bag was placed over his head, he was beaten and forcibly put on a boat and illegally deported to another country.
“Can appeal to the London Privy Council”
Pollock said: “The people of Antigua have the right to appeal to the Privy Council in London. But in Dominica, there is no such system. However, the motive for the kidnapping is not yet clear. He further claimed that he had sufficient evidence that in April 2021, Barbara Jarabika and others involved in the incident attempted to kidnap Choksi in “an unsuccessful kidnapping or kidnapping attempt.” He said Choksi should be sent back to Antigua.
Giving details of the kidnapping attempt, Pollock said Jabarika, who called Choksi at his residence on May 23, asked his owner if there was a facility to park a boat behind their house. Reflecting on the conversation between Jabarika and the owner, Pollock said they discussed repossessing properties adjacent to the two homes after receiving confirmation of where the boats were moored. Pollock alleged that a property was used by his accomplices, who were part of the kidnapping team.
“The diamond dealer does not have access to legal protection in Dominica”
The lawyer also claimed that shortly after Choksi’s kidnapping, Jabarika left Antigua and Barbuda for Dominica in a private plane at 7:26 p.m. because she felt safe. Pollock also argued that Choksi is a citizen of Antigua and any decision to withdraw his citizenship or extradite him to India can be appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He also specified that the diamond dealer would not have access to this legal protection in Dominica.
A complaint filed by Pollock to the UK Metropolitan Police said Choksi’s case should be investigated by a war crimes unit as it was “torture”. “The Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit is investigating war crimes, torture and genocide wherever they occur,” the lawyer said. The final decision on the investigation will rest with the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. According to Pollock’s complaint filed with the metropolitan police on June 7, Choksi was seduced by Jarabika then attacked by several men and taken to Dominica in a boat.
Wanted in PNB fraud case of Rs 13,500 crore
The complaint also states that Jarabika and three people allegedly involved in the incident are Gurdeep Bath, Gurmeet Singh and Gurjit Singh Bhandal, all residents of the United Kingdom. “The process is with the Metropolitan Police and we will let them conduct their own investigation,” he said. We say there is evidence of torture in this case. “Choksi, who is wanted in Ondian in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) 13,500 crore rupee fraud case, disappeared from Antigua on May 23.
There was a massive search for Choksi. He was reportedly arrested in Dominica on May 26. Choksi is accused of entering Dominica illegally. However, the Dominican High Court suspended Choksi’s extradition. The diamond merchant is wanted in India by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in the Rs 13,500 crore case. He took the nationality of Antigua in 2017 and left India on January 4, 2018, a day before the case came to light.