Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne, on 29 August, told a local daily in the country that his government would not be forced by its Indian counterpart into arresting PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi.
Speaking to the Antiguan Observer, Browne said the Indian government’s attempt to “meddle in the domain of the judiciary will not be tolerated.”
Adding that India had the local government’s complete cooperation, Browne said the matter was under the court’s purview – while also alleging the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India was aware of the legal procedure in Antigua and Barbuda.
Also drawing parallels between Choksi and his nephew and fugitive diamantiare Nirav Modi, Browne said the Indian government had not made the same demands with the UK government, where Modi is believed to be, as they had made of the Antiguan government.
Earlier, the government of Antigua and Barbuda had communicated their refusal to extradite Choksi to India. The Foreign Secretary had written that the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda communicated to the Indian High Commissioner of Guyana that “citizenship was granted to Mehul Choksi after due diligence” and that the “Antigua & Barbuda Constitution protects the citizenship passport granted to Mehul Choksi.”
Importantly, the Foreign Secretary’s letter had also stated that Choksi could only lose his Antigua & Barbuda citizenship under one single circumstance:
“The passport of Mehul Choksi can only be revoked with cause if it is established that he has made false assertions or willfully concealed any relevant facts from Government of Antigua & Barbuda between submission of his application on July 2017 and the granting of citizenship on November 2017.”
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