Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit termed fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi as an "Indian citizen" and stated that the courts will decide what happens to the fugitive. He added that the government will protect the rights of Choksi as he awaits trial.
Currently, Choksi has got interim relief from immediate repatriation to India by the Dominican court, which adjourned the matter of his detention.
Loop Jamaica News quoted that Dominica PM as saying that, "The matter with this Indian citizen is before the courts, the courts will decide what happens to this gentleman and we allow the court process to go through."
"His rights will be respected as have been done thus far and let the courts decide what has to happen in that regard. We have no interest in so far as the issues in Antigua and the issues in India. We are part of a whole community and we have to recognise our duty and our responsibility," Skerrit said.
Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 after going out for dinner and was soon caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with a Rs 13,500-crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
According to the Writeups 24, Choksi's disappearance from Antigua and Barbuda and his apparent attempt to escape to Cuba, was unlike the Hollywood drama that it was made out to be. The Caribbean newspaper said that the whole planning was to manipulate the entire scenario into an abduction story, and the media was trapped in a hoax created by Choksi's family on the advice of his lawyers.
Responding to such media reports, Mehul Choksi's brother on Monday sent a legal notice to Caribbean-based media outlet Associate Times, for publishing an article, what they termed as "fake, unsubstantiated, false and with unverified facts."
The media outlet had recently reported that Chetan Chinubhai Choksi, the elder brother of Mehul had the day after he landed in Dominica met with the leader of opposition Lennox Linton at the latter's home for two hours and had promised to pay for election donation in exchange of support from the opposition to press the matter in the parliament.
Chetan Choksi's lawyer Ayush Jindal, said his client has sought an unconditional apology and issuance of a corrigendum clarifying the correct facts, in all print and digital media, and other social media platforms.
Jindal in the legal notice stated: "Notice to cease and desist from reporting fake, unsubstantiated, false and unverified news against my client Chetan Choksi in respect to the matter of Mehul Choksi and thus, removal of the false news report from all mediums and to publish an unconditional apology to my client for reporting such false and fake stories and issue a corrigendum clarifying the correct facts, in all print and digital media, and other social media platforms." (ANI)