High Court denies bail for Mehul Choksi

File photo – Choksi leaving court

Following a near five-hour long court proceeding, High court Judge, Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts has denied bail to alleged Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi on the basis that he is a “flight risk.”

Choksi, on June 2, 2021, pleaded not guilty to illegal entry into Dominica. His request for bail was first rejected by the Chief Magistrate, Candia Carrette-George.

Through his attorneys who include Julien Prevost, Wayne Norde, Wayne Benjamin Marsh and Cara Shillingford-Marsh, an application was filed in the high court for bail and the hearing, commenced on June 8 and concluded on June 11, via zoom.

At the hearing, Choksi’s legal team argued that as a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) citizen, he is entitled to such benefits since his alleged offense is not of a serious nature.

The attorneys further pleaded with the court to impose stringent measures as part of his bail conditions and said their client would be willing to pay any amount set out by the court as his bail sum.

Additionally, the lawyers stated that the fact that their client is unwell is all the more reason why bail should be granted as his ailment does not make him a flight risk.

However, the attorneys for the state who included the acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Sherma Dalrymple, attorney-at-law Lennox Lawrence, Jodie Luke and Heather Felix-Evans opposed Choksi’s bail on account of him being a flight risk, an Interpol Red Notice against him and an extradition proceeding in the Antiguan court, which they say are reasons for him to flee the island.

Following arguments from both sides, Justice Adrien-Roberts handed down her judgment in favor of the state attorneys.

The defense attorneys had informed the judge that with the arrival of Choksi’s brother in Dominica, he would be able to ensure Choksi’s presence in court at the set dates, however, Justice Adrien- Roberts was not satisfied that the accused had enough ties in Dominica to not flee.

She further stated that the court cannot impose any condition that will assure Choksi will not abscond. As such, bail was denied. However, the defense attorneys were informed that they could reapply for bail at a later date.

Meantime, an application made in the Magistrate court pursuant to section 212 of the Magistrate code of procedure by the DPP requesting that the prisoner be brought before a magistrate every three days to be further remanded until he is discharged from the hospital, came under review by Magistrate Pearl Williams this morning.

Choksi has been a patient at the DCFH since May 29, 2021.

Magistrate Williams said, based on her understanding of this section of law, the defendant was not required to appear before the court every three days but said a decision will be made based on the outcome of the bail application in the High court.

Choksi’s trial for illegal entry is expected to commence on June 14, 2021, at the Magistrate court whilst the High court has adjourned the Habeas Corpus matter sine die.

Choksi’s attorneys have filed an application for a writ of Habeas Corpus against the Chief of Police, Lincoln Corbette, as well as the Attorney General, Levi Peters, claiming that he is unlawfully detained and requesting that he be deported back to Antigua, the country from which he came.

At the last High court hearing of this matter –June 3 – presiding Judge, Justice Bernie Stephenson, ordered that the attorneys for the applicant and the respondent file certain submissions which she will rule on and set a date for the recommencement of the trial.

The 62-year-old diamond tycoon who gained citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda, is wanted by the Indian judicial authorities for allegedly cheating the Punjab National Bank of over two billion US dollars, one of India’s largest bank fraud cases in decades.

The circumstances surrounding the mysterious appearance of the Indian fugitive on a remote beach in Dominica remain a mystery.

Whilst his attorneys allege that he was kidnapped, beaten and unwillingly brought to Dominica, the police claim that he entered the shores illegally on May 24, 2021.

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  1. Toto
    June 15, 2021

    Skerrit my boy, you have such a big opinion of yourself you didn’t notice your pardner Browne dump on your desk. Boy, I would laugh if it was not so tragic for poor old Dominica but the smell make my eyes water.

  2. Tiff dem tiff
    June 14, 2021

    The one best thing that Choksi could do would be, to refuse any payments to his Dominican lawyers and refuse any bribes from the government hungry ministers. The Honorable Lennox Linton will bring stability to our country. Keep him in your prayers.

  3. Man bite dogs
    June 14, 2021

    Our Prime minister Dr Skerrit, is doing a great job more than anyone else in Dominica history those of you social workers parasites who do not like it “man bite dogs “says tough s**t to you lots get back to your mango tree up the hillsides.

  4. Bwa-Banday
    June 14, 2021

    While I deplore the way in which the said Mr. Choksi arrived on our shores as alleged, I applaud the decision of the learned judge.

    Regardless of what side we support, it cannot and never should be overlooked that he Mr. Choksi is wanted for alleged serious crime as the Interpol Red Notice for his arrest signals. Further, releasing him on bail in Dca would expose him to certain death by some ruthless criminal. At least, he is protected in some form while on remand or at the hospital. Remember the saying; “Dead men tell no tales?”

    We want all the details before anything else happens to Mr. Choksi and therefore even if the judge did not say that in her summation I am certain that was part of her reason for denying him bail. If she had released him and he disappeared “without a trace” we all would blame the judicial system for failing us again. People have disappeared from our hospital without a trace to this date. I say kuddos to the judge for having such level of foresight!

  5. Ibo France
    June 13, 2021

    There are three (3) separate branches of government in our democratic system of government. The EXECUTIVE BRANCH (Cabinet of Ministers); The LEGISLATIVE BRANCH ( All Members of Parliament); The JUDICIAL BRANCH (Courts). Each has its specific function.

    In Dominica, all three branches corruptly function as one entity controlled by one man. With that said, Choksi will be extremely fortunate to get bail or a fair trial in this land of ubiquitous villainy.

    The trustworthiness of the government, court system, police, customs, immigration is below zero. When there is no trust in the revered, public institutions of a country everything inevitably falls apart. Dr.² Skerrit has shipwrecked the country. He has piloted the Ship of State on a rocky reef. The ship is presently being battered by tsunami-size, scandalous swells.

  6. I Believe
    June 12, 2021

    I conclude that Skerrit, Gaston Brown and Choksi put that movie together with help from the good for nothing good SC. I further believe that all the government lawyers involved know the game plan but as us usual their job is to abuse tax payers money in a tricky way. I further believe that the only ones that don’t know what’s happening is those UWP lawyers and UWP supporters . They think they are sincerely fighting for justice and the right of Choksi not knowing that Choksi is part of the movie organizers. I full believe that Tony is behind that movie and it was well put together in Antigua where almost all the starrings reside. So people it’s a Hollywood type of movie put together by corrupt heads in St John’s but unfortunately can only be played in Dominica, the land of the unwise

  7. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    June 12, 2021

    Alleged offense is not of a serious nature his legal team says? conning a bank out of 2 billion dollars is not serious ? Tell that to the bank. The Dominican authorities need to turn him over to the Indian authorities unless they are waiting on some money donated as political contribution to their cause from Mr Choksi. He is making it look like the Dominican authorities are harboring a fugitive. Why does it seem that Dominica always gets involved with international fugitives?

  8. dissident
    June 12, 2021

    Where would Choksi go to?
    He has no passport…..he would be traveling illegally!
    Usually the Court would confiscate his travel documents.
    Would he try to return to Antigua?
    What a tangled web we weave when at first our intention is to deceive!

  9. Ibo France
    June 12, 2021

    Mr. Choksi has no ties to Dominica. None whatsoever! Why would he of his own volition flee to a country which has close ties with the government of India where he is a wanted man? Makes absolutely no sense.

    Every bit of evidence that has been pieced together thus far points to something clandestine about his arrival in Dominica. Why is the most transparent government in the Western Hemisphere (according to habitual lying Skerrit) so deafeningly silent about this nuclear eruption ?

    Many Haitians and people of different nationalities have entered Dominica illegally and were just arrested and deported with haste. Why can’t this man be deported back to Antigua & Barbuda his now homeland?

    Every system in Dominica has contracted the CORRUPTION-2004 virus. When a government is corrupt the entire country becomes corrupt. This is precisely the case in Dominica.

  10. %
    June 12, 2021

    Is Choksi’s appearance in Dominica smelling fetidly of a plot (an alleged abduction) gone wrong involving three countries???
    Is Corrupt Dominica a participant?
    Is Antigua a participant?
    Is India a participant?
    What about our police chief and his several bosses???
    Those who are pleading upon me to protect the CBI programme, so that they can live the life of Riley, this failed plot (the alleged abduction)has already done irreparable harm to (our) Dominica’s already mightily corrupt CBI programme..
    Good thing this alleged abduction failed so that the world can see how rogue a few Caribbean leaders can be!
    Kid on the Block
    Man bites dog
    Realist aka Expat
    Lin Clown

  11. Jonathan Y St Jean
    June 12, 2021

    Choksi’s appearance in Dominca is not a mystery as the writer suggests. It cannot be a mystery when the chief of police was there when the man entered the country with a letter issued and signed by the minister of national security informing Choksi that his entry is illegal and he will be deported to India. This clearly shows that Choksi’s arrival was known in advance. How did the police know which port or beach the boat would be arriving at? Fool me once, shame on you, but I won’t let you fool me twice.

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