"Some prisons are producing prisoners in person, so I will direct Wandsworth Prison to produce Modi in person for the trial from May 11. If that is not practicable, his participation by live link remains a backstop, Judge Goozee said at the last remand hearing in the case on April 28.
It has been agreed that a limited number of legal representatives will be present physically in court for the trial, while witnesses give their evidence via videolink. Modi will be able to observe the proceedings either from the dock, if the prison authorities agree to a physical transfer, or via the judiciary's common viewing system (CVP) from Wandsworth Prison.
The five-day hearing starting on Monday relates to the Indian government's extradition
request certified by the UK government last year.
The case has been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and relates to a large-scale fraud upon an Indian PSB through the fraudulent obtaining of letters of understanding (LoUs) and the laundering of the proceeds of that fraud.
Two additional charges of "causing the disappearance of evidence" and intimidating witnesses or criminal intimidation to cause death were added on by the CBI and certified earlier this year.
The May 11 extradition
hearing is going ahead and the new request (two additional offences part of the CBI case) has not been joined but will be dealt with at a separate later hearing, probably in July, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), appearing on behalf of the Indian authorities.
CPS barrister Nick Hearn told the court at the last hearing in April, held via tele-conference, that the government of India's representatives would be following the proceedings and giving instructions via the court's online common viewing platform, given the Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
We have received comprehensive responses in writing from the government of India, which would reduce the likely length of cross-examinations, said Hearn.
It was also confirmed that the diamond merchant would not be giving evidence in the case, but his legal team plans to produce around six witnesses, including a jewellery expert as well as judicial and prisons experts.
Most of the legal cases in the UK have incorporated video link and telephonic options where possible amid the social distancing rules in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Modi, whose Wandsworth Prison is considered one of the most over-crowded in England, had made a fifth attempt at bail in the High Court last month, which was rejected as the judge ruled that he continued to pose a flight risk.
The jeweller was arrested on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard on charges of fraud and money laundering brought by the Indian government.