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Antigua wants Mehul Choksi directly repatriated to India from Dominica

FPJ News Service | Updated on: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 11:33 PM IST

Antiguan cabinet wants Mehul Choksi directly repatriated to India from Dominica |
Antiguan cabinet wants Mehul Choksi directly repatriated to India from Dominica |
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PORT OF SPAIN: Antigua and Barbuda will prefer it if fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi is repatriated from Dominica to India directly. Clearly, the island sees Choksi as a liability and politically expendable in the given circumstances. More important, it wants to have nothing to do with him.

The matter came up in the Cabinet of the island country. The Cabinet minutes published by a media outlet reveal that the "Choksi matter" was one of the agenda items discussed during the meeting on Wednesday where it was held that the businessman is now a "problem" of Dominica and if he comes back to Antigua and Barbuda the "problem reverts" to it. ‘’The preference of the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda is for (Mr) Choksi to be repatriated to India from Dominica," the Cabinet minutes said.

Choksi, who went missing recently in Antigua and surfaced in another island, Dominica, in the Caribbean, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of entering the shores illegally. His lawyers told the court that he was kidnapped, beaten and brought to Dominica against his own volition.

However, the Magistrate's court in Dominica denied bail to Choksi after the government prosecutor argued that he is facing 11 offences in India and extradition proceedings in Antigua and could be a flight risk. Choksi’s lawyers argued that he possibly could not jump bail and flee Dominica, given his existing health vitals. However, the magistrate was not convinced. With that, the matter stands adjourned to June 14.

Choksi was carted in on a wheelchair in a blue T-shirt and black pant.

Choksi had mysteriously gone missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he was staying since 2018 as a citizen. He was detained in neighbouring island country Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.

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Published on: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 11:33 PM IST