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Vijay Mallya calls himself a political victim before UK court
Mallya fled to Britain in March last year, after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks — Rs 900 crore loan from IDBI Bank, and a Rs 9,400 crore loan given by an SBI-led 17-bank consortium — and allegedly misused the funds by rerouting them to tax havens.
Embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who on Tuesday defended himself before a UK court against India's request for extradition, said he was a political victim and drew parallels between and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh, showing newspaper reports.
The 61-year-old businessman, out on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard earlier this year, had been exempt from appearing before the court until his extradition trial scheduled to begin on December 4.
Mallya has repeatedly been stating that he has done nothing wrong and will let the evidence speak in court.
"Please come to court and witness the hearing yourself...all the allegations against me are baseless and fabricated...," Mallya reportedly said outside the UK court.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), however, replied to Mallya's statement as an attempt to divert attention on the basis of unsubstantiated media reports.
It may be noted that a formal extradition request has been made by the Indian government to the United Kingdom under the Extradition Treaty between India and the UK through a note verbale on February 8.
The ED suspects that the embattled liquor baron used the money to procure properties in India and abroad.
Mallya fled to Britain in March last year, after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks — Rs 900 crore loan from IDBI Bank, and a Rs 9,400 crore loan given by an SBI-led 17-bank consortium — and allegedly misused the funds by rerouting them to tax havens. He had repeatedly refused to appear before courts and investigators in India.
India and the UK have an Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992, but so far only one extradition has taken place from the UK to India under the arrangement.
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