Top legal officers in Antigua and Barbuda will discuss whether jeweller Mehul Choksi, accused in the Punjab National Bank scam case, can be extradited to India, sources said. Antigua and Barbuda's attorney general Steadroy Benjamin said he is planning to discuss the possible extradition of Choksi with the island nation's head of public prosecution, Anthony Armstrong.
"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," Mr Benjamin was quoted by as saying by the Antigua Observer newspaper.
India is trying hard to bring back Choksi from Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation, which provides for extradition of a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country.
Indian High Commissioner in Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, visited St. John's for the third time in recent weeks to meet with officials to discuss Choksi's extradition, a statement by the Antigua and Barbuda's prime minister's office said.
The diplomat met with Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne and gave another extradition application with modified charges to the prime minister, sources said. He was assured the matter would be taken up and the documents would be given to the DPP, who is currently abroad, sources said.
Mr Browne iterated his government's full cooperation with the Indian authorities on the matter but added that a certain procedure was to be followed.
Earlier this week, the Antigua government said it would fully cooperate on Mr Choksi's arrest, but stated that it would not succumb to pressure from India in the matter.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, through the foreign ministry, had written a letter to Antigua, asking them to arrest the businessman.
The Rs 13,000 crore scam was detected by Punjab National Bank officials earlier this year. Choksi, his nephew Nirav Modi and some PNB officials are accused of misusing credit instruments of the bank.
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