New Delhi [India], June 2 (ANI): Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the Indian-born fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi and demands for his extradition, his wife Priti Choksi on Wednesday said the woman who is rumored to be his girlfriend is known to her husband and to his other acquaintances.
"The woman was known to my husband and to his other acquaintances. She walked with my husband periodically when she was visiting Antigua. From what I have understood from people who have met her, the woman shown on media channels is not the same woman that they knew as Barbara," said Priti Choksi.
This remarks came after Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne last week had said Mehul Choksi may have taken his girlfriend on a romantic trip to Dominica, where he was busted.
On the reports that fugitive diamantaire was tortured in Dominica, Priti said, "What has brought most anguish to the family is the physical torture and total disregard for the human rights of my husband. If someone really wanted him back alive, why did they need to torture and abuse him physically and mentally? My husband has many health issues."
On the question of Mehul Choki's deportation, his wife said, "He is 63 years old and he is an Antiguan citizen. He enjoys all the rights and protection that the Antigua and Barbuda constitution gives him. I have full faith in the rule of law and the justice system of the Caribbean nations. We await his safe and rightful return to Antigua at the earliest."
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.
Choksi fled the country was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in January 2018.
Earlier today, Antigua Prime Minister had told ANI that his administration stands by its request for Dominica to extradite Mehul Choksi,directly back to India, "where he is still a citizen."
"Instead of subjecting himself to an inquiry as required by law, he (Mehul Choksi) used the courts to stay the revocation of his citizenship," Antigua PM told ANI.
"My administration stands by its request to Dominica to extradite Mehul Choksi directly back to India where he is still a citizen," he added.
The Antigua Prime Minister told ANI that Mehul Choksi "changed his lawyer to a well-known member of the UPP who had promised him protection, for campaign funding".
"That's why they want that he shouldn't be deported to India, but back to Antigua where he could continue to hide behind constitutional protections," Browne said.
Associates Times citing sources had reported that Mehul Choksi's brother, who is also a bank defaulter, allegedly promised election funding to Dominica's Leader of the Opposition Lennox Linton in exchange for pushing Mehul Choksi's abduction theory.
The sources said Chetan Chinu Bhai Choksi had met Linton on May 30, where they discussed several aspects related to Mehul Choksi's arrest and agreed on the commitment that in exchange for token money and promise of election donation, the opposition leader will press the matter in Parliament.
They also told Associates Times that Chetan disclosed during the conversation that Mehul had reached Dominica on his own, but they require the assistance of the opposition to tackle the matter in court and against the Dominica government to make them believe that he was abducted by Antiguan and Indian police.
Sources cited by Associates Times also said Chetan gave Linton token money of USD 200,000 and promised him more than a million-dollar of financial assistance in the upcoming general elections and in exchange Linton would issue statements favouring Mehul Choksi.
Meanwhile, a team from India has arrived in Dominica, ahead of a Caribbean court hearing that will decide on whether fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi will be deported to India. (ANI)