Top legal officers of Antigua to discuss Mehul Choksi’s extradition to India

The top legal officers in Barbuda and Antigua will discuss as to whether or not jeweller Mehul Choksi, who is accused in the Punjab National Bank scam case, can be extradited to India, said the sources. Steadroy Benjamin, attorney general of Antigua and Barbuda stated he is planning to discuss Choksi’s possible extradition with Anthony Armstrong, the nation head of public prosecution with the island.

The Antigua Observer newspaper quoted Mr. Benjamin, stating, “We expect the DPP back shortly, if not by tomorrow, then certainly by Monday and as soon as he returns I intend to meet with him so we can discuss this extradition matter”.

India is making meticulous efforts to bring Choksi back from Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation which provides for the extradition of a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country.

Venkatachalam Mahalingam, the Indian High Commissioner in Guyana, paid a visit to St. John’s for the third consecutive in recent weeks so as to hold a meeting with the officials to discuss the extradition of Choksi, a statement by the officer of the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda stated.

The diplomat met the prime minister of Antigua Gaston Browne and gave another extradition application with charges modified to the prime minister, said the sources. He was given an assurance that the matter would be looked into and the documents would be handed over to the DPP, who is currently out of the country.

Browne restated his government’s complete cooperation with the authorities on the matter but added that a certain process was to be adhered to.

It was earlier this week, the government of Antigua stated that it would give its full cooperation on Choksi’s arrest, however, it also added that it would not give in to the pressure from India concerning the matter at hand.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, through the foreign ministry, had written to Antigua, asking them to arrest the jeweller.

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