A court in London on Monday confirmed that Vijay Mallya’s extradition case will be heard for eight days, starting December 4. The beleaguered businessman, who appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, reiterated that the allegations levelled against him by the Indian government were “baseless and fabricated”.
“It will all become clear in court,” Mallya, who is currently out on bail, told reporters. Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said the businessman’s bail conditions will remain in place till the trial begins.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom on February 9, after Mallya made his self-imposed exile clear. The request was made on the basis of an Extradition Treaty signed between the countries in 1992.
The court has yet to decide whether closing submissions in the case will be filed at the end of the hearings or in January, The Hindu reported. The defence, however, objected to the judge’s suggestion, arguing that delaying it could allow the prosecution to introduce fresh material.
On October 3, the United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service, which is arguing the case on behalf of Indian authorities, had presented supplementary charges of money laundering against Mallya. These added to the accusations Mallya already faces of fraudulently acquiring loans for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines and channeling them to his Force India Formula One team.
Mallya is wanted in India for a number of cases, including for defaulting on loans worth Rs 9,000 crores from 17 banks. The businessman, who has been in the United Kingdom since March 2016, had said he would not return to the country.