Vijay Mallya. Photo: PTI
A UK court on Friday admitted the bulk of the evidence submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Vijay Mallya in connection with his ongoing extradition trial, giving a boost to India’s efforts to bring back the embattled liquor baron to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 90 billion.
The 62-year-old flamboyant businessman, who appeared in the Westminister Magistrate’s Court here, had his £650,000 bail extended until the next date of hearing on July 11.
When the court reconvenes, oral submissions will be made on closing arguments to be submitted in writing to Judge Emma Arbuthnot over the next two months. The judge is then expected to indicate plans for a verdict in the case at the next hearing.
“We have just asked for a final hearing to make our closing submissions orally. Nothing wrong with that, no delaying tactics. On the contrary, we requested an earlier date than what was being discussed,” Mallya told reporters on being asked about “delays” in the case on his way out of the court.
During today’s hearing, the judge initially seemed reluctant to allow another hearing, being requested by Mallya’s defence team.
“So, you want a hearing for the press,” she said in response to Mallya’s counsel Ben Watson, pointing out the significant public and media interest in the case.
“That is extremely unfair,” responded Watson, adding that the defence team needed an opportunity to respond to some of the additional material presented by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), on behalf of the Indian government.