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Illegal entry in Dominica case: Mehul Choksi pleads not guilty; matter adjourned till June 14, says report

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 05:29 PM IST

Illegal entry in Dominica case: Mehul Choksi pleads not guilty; matter adjourned, says report | dominicanewsonline
Illegal entry in Dominica case: Mehul Choksi pleads not guilty; matter adjourned, says report | dominicanewsonline
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Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has pleaded not guilty for illegal entry into Dominica at his court appearance, according to a news report. He appeared before the court after an illegal entry charge was filed against Choksi.

The bail was denied and the matter was adjourned to June 14, 2021, in the Roseau Magistrate court. Now, Choksi is sent to the hospital where he is undergoing treatment. "Once he is discharged from the facility he will be placed in police custody."

According to Dominica News Online, as per the charge on Choksi in the court, it is alleged that on May 21, 2021, he entered Dominica illegally at Toucari Beach.

At the hearing, state attorney Sherma Dalrymple pleaded with the court to not grant bail to the accused as she deemed him a “flight risk.” The prosecutor listed two grounds for her claim which included the fact that Choksi has an Interpol Red Notice against him as he is facing charges in India and as the Antiguan government is currently undergoing court proceedings to have Choksi extradited.

It was further argued by Dalrymple that Choksi has no ties in Dominica. So, he will flee the island if the bail is granted. One of the defendant’s attorneys, Wayne Norde, refuted this argument stating that Choksi is not a flight risk due to his health.

Norde suggested the Magistrate that tough conditions can be added to the fugitive’s bail condition and proposed a bail sum of EC$10,000.00, double the maximum penalty for illegal entry, which was countered by the state attorney.
Norde further argued that various non-nationals in Dominica are on bail for similar matters, so we are of the view that bail can be granted to our client with or without conditions to his bail.

The attorney also stated that Choksi had no pending criminal matter in Antigua, the country in which he attained citizenship in 2017.

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Published on: Thursday, June 03, 2021, 05:29 PM IST