Vijay Mallya extradition case: UK court verdict expected today; CBI team to attend crucial hearing
Vijaya Mallya opposed his extradition to India on the grounds that the case against him is "politically motivated" and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat.
A UK court on Monday is likely to deliver its verdict in a trial over the extradition of beleaguered liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is facing a case of loan default to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore besides allegations of money laundering. The liquor tycoon is in self-imposed exile in London.
A team of CBI officials led by Joint Director S Sai Manohar left for London yesterday to attend a crucial hearing in the extradition case of Mallya, said a PTI report citing sources. Two Enforcement Directorate officials are also accompanying the CBI officer, the report added.
Manohar took the place of Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who had been attending the trial till now, and was sent on forced leave. Asthana has also been divested of all powers after he and CBI Director Alok Verma entered in a bitter feud.
Vijaya Mallya, who is facing a case of loan default to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore besides allegations of money laundering and diversion of loan funds for purposes other than they were meant for, left for the United Kingdom in March 2016, taking advantage of the dilution in the CBI lookout notice against him.
Indian agencies are seeking to extradite beleaguered tycoon, whose case will be heard by Westminster Magistrates' Court in London today.
Mallya opposed his extradition to India on the grounds that the case against him is "politically motivated" and the loans he has been accused of defrauding on were sought to keep his now-defunct airline afloat.
In his recent Twitter post on the issue, he said, "I did not borrow a single rupee. The borrower was Kingfisher Airlines. Money was lost due to a genuine and sad business failure. Being held as guarantor is not fraud." '
Earlier, he had tweeted, "I have offered to repay 100 per cent of the principal amount to them. Please take it."
Notably, the 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss has been on bail since his arrest on an extradition warrant in April last year.
The trial, which opened at the Magistrates' Court on December 4 last year, has gone through a series of hearings beyond the initial seven days earmarked for it.