Judge in Dominica issues gag order in Mehul Choksi matter

From Left: Justice Birnie Stephenson and Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi

High Court Judge, Justice Birnie Stephenson, has issued a gag order restricting information or comment from being made publicly by the attorneys involved in the case of the Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi.

Choksi is wanted by India’s judicial authorities for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty including delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering.

The businessman, who took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment Programme before fleeing India in January 2018, was reported missing in Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday by his wife, which prompted a police search for him. However, it was later confirmed that Choksi was is in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Dominica.

A team of lawyers in Dominica comprising Julien Prevost, Wayne Norde, Wayne Marsh and Cara Shillingford-Marsh who were engaged by Choksi’s Antigua-based attorney, Justin Simon to represent him in Dominica, complained that they were denied access by members of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF) to speak with their client and the authorities were attempting to have Choksi removed from Dominica and returned to Antigua.

As a result, the attorneys filed an application to prevent his removal from the island and to obtain access to their client which was granted by the Judge yesterday– May 27.

The attorneys filed a writ of habeas corpus, a method used to bring a prisoner or other detainee before the court to determine if the person’s imprisonment or detention is lawful.

A habeas petition proceeds as a civil action against the state agent (usually a warden) who holds the defendant in custody.

The case continued in court today, however, the matter was dealt with “in Chambers” and as such, it was not opened to the media or the general public.

Following the hearing, members of the press attempted to speak to Choksi’s attorneys but were informed that due to the gag order issued by the Judge no information could be provided.

Dominica News Online (DNO) has since learned that attempts by the Police to charge Choksi with illegal entry was not successful as the fugitive claims that he was kidnapped and brought to Dominica via a sail vessel on Sunday evening.

Wayne Marsh also confirmed to DNO in an earlier interview that there were visible marks and bruises to his client’s face, as if he were beaten, allegations which Choksi also made.

Choksi has since been placed in a government quarantine facility and the matter adjourned to June 2, 2021, in open court.

Choksi’s team of lawyers from left: Julien Prevost, Wayne Marsh, Wayne Norde and Cara Shillingford-Marsh

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47 Comments

  1. Man bites dogs
    May 31, 2021

    Take a look at those UWP so-called defence lawyers they all fighting like hyenas to defend a rich international criminal money money pot of gold!!!

    • MI7
      June 1, 2021

      What could I possibly reply to a comment like that? I mean what could I say to the most faithful disciple of a corrupt PM? You must have been smoking something very bad…

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      June 1, 2021

      @Man bites dogs, you mean the only think of note that you can find in this ongoing saga is that some lawyers are doing what they were trained to do, which is to provide legal representation for someone accused of a crime, and who the AG, the acting police commissioner and other leaders were trying to deny him his rights in law, which states that he’s entitled to a lawyer and if he cannot afford one the court will make one available for him. Eh Beh, look it. Dominca is without doubt a lawless State. If Choksi didn’t have need of their services he is free to say so. You have no skin in this game, so stay in your lane. What is also noteworthy is the silence of the authorities in Dominca who are trying to facilitate an unlawful act until these lawyers showed up and the judge had to warn them and their agents to not secretly whisk Choski away without legal representation. God bless these lawyers for upholding the law as all lawyers should.

  2. Time will tell
    May 31, 2021

    How could the leaders of this nation allow themselves to be involved in this mess. The fallout from this can impact all the prospective purchasers of CBI passports. Imagine that these prospective buyers are reading of these actions and realizing that some of these countries will take their money, but will not stand behind the citizenship that they offer to these buyers. End of CBI programs. The DLP government seems to rely heavily on CBI funds. How can they let themselves get involved in this? Time will tell.

    • Man bite dogs
      June 1, 2021

      @ Time will tell, Think positive instead of negative rubbish you lots so-called workers followers are in other words Doom – mongers just like your stupid hooligan leader.

  3. Aliasjag
    May 31, 2021

    Outcome of this verdict will widely establish the identity of our country as we stand with this Choksi type of corrupt guy or we stand against criminals and/or corrupt from other nations. We should deport him back to his country and let make a better place for next generations.

  4. Ibo France
    May 30, 2021

    The Dominican public MUST demand complete TRANSPARENCY from the Skerrit led government on the Choksi Affair. This whole incident is shrouded in mystery. The PM recently touted that his administration is the most transparent in the Western Hemisphere. The continued silence, on this disturbing matter, doesn’t give credence to the PM’s boastful statement, it rings hollow.

    Only corrupt governments operate in dark shadows. Sunlight is the best disinfection against corruption and false rumours. This secretive policy by the ruling administration must end now for GOOD GOVERNANCE to prevail.

    The Dominican people should know the names of the ghost vessel and actors who deposited Mr. Choksi on the island and under whose instructions/directions. Is this too much to ask? Come on man!

  5. May 30, 2021

    What a corrupt Island. Finally it all boils down to money and bribery. Shame on you. If you slightest pride left send this fugitive back to India He has looted the poor.

    • If we knew better
      May 31, 2021

      No. Send him back to Antigua. That is where he was brought from. That’s is where he has his citizenship[. Let Gaston Brown deal with his own issues instead of using Dominica as a scapegoat to deal with his dirty laundry.

    • Man bites dogs
      May 31, 2021

      Wait a minute Linton, has been looting poor people for years why don’t we kick that MF out?

      • If we knew better
        June 1, 2021

        Poor people like who? please inform. It surely does not compare to the looting that your god and savior Roosevelt Scare-it is doing. meanwhile you bark like a gataywas behind a gate, but once the gate open you quiet.

      • Jonathan Y St Jean
        June 1, 2021

        @Man bites dogs, you know very well that Linton is not the one who forced poor people to fork-up $64,000 monthly for his rent in the post Maria period when the government hasn’t finished it’s pledge to eradicate pit latrines in Dominica. When the perpetrator was called out he pledged to find his own residence after the two year agreement is up. Linton is not the one who became prime minister on a Minister’s salary and soon thereafter is a millionaire who owns villas and didn’t pay land transfer fees to the treasury. Don’t make me go on to remind you what poor people of Dominca have suffered and it’s not Linton who did it.

  6. Antiguan in Dom
    May 30, 2021

    Gaston and Skerrit knew Mehul Choksi hands were dirty before the Antigua and Barbuda CARICOM Passport and Antiguan and Barbuda citizen was issued to him. What is happening to Choksi is 100% likely to happen to all the other thousands of Criminals and their families who have received Citizen via these Citizenship By Investment Programs.
    Citizens by birth must demand that the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica publish the names of all foreigners who have purchased their citizenship from these governments. Because trust me there are thousands of others like Mehul Choksi with our passports.
    Please stop prostituting our birthright for a few dollars while enriching your pockets.
    Now I believe that Mehul Choksi should be returned to Gaston Brown so Gaston Brown can send Mehul Choksi and his family back to India because if Choksi is a Criminal then his family are accomplices.
    Dominica should not be held responsible for washing Antigua dirty linen.

    • Gary
      May 31, 2021

      Wow, what gross ignorance. Why make statements that are not factual, making your own facts to satisfy your perception is worthless use of someone’s time. You are also accusing people of participating in nefarious activity without any evidence. Why don’t you educate yourself about Citizenship by Investment Programs, and the many Countries around the world who have adopted such programs before coming on this forum and making nonsensical statements. If you have access to the Gazette of Dominica, you would see the names of the persons published who obtain Dominican Citizenship through the program. What you believe about something is not necessarily what that thing is, so long.

    • Pipo
      May 31, 2021

      Our CBI citizens should also be warned. Their Dominican passport states that in case of dual nationality our government can not give them any protection against claims made by the foreign government. It also says that the passport remains the property of the Dominican government and can be withdrawn at any time. So you spend a lot of money for what? They’d better not make trouble for the government if they want to maintain their precarious new status. No refunds either I presume.

      • Gary
        June 1, 2021

        You made a statement, quote, “Their Dominican passport states that in case of dual nationality our government can not give them any protection against claims made by the foreign government” are you saying that this is actually written on the passport of a person who obtains Dominica citizenship by investment or are you suggesting that this should be written on their passport.

  7. DA
    May 29, 2021

    Kid, they are Lawyers doing their job. Don’t be afraid, if there is any secret it will soon be out. Don’t try to turn the attention on The Lawyers

  8. Ibo France
    May 29, 2021

    People -we are witnessing the inevitable destruction of Dominica by a misguided juvenile in an adult body.

    *National Birds sold
    *CBI billions in foreign hands
    *Chinese invasion
    *A cradle for international fugitives
    *A female ignoramus becomes a member of parliament
    *No convention to elect party candidates – one man decides
    *Police beat and occasionally kill civilians with impunity

    All these are stubborn facts which are easily verifiable. Discard your fears my people and take back your country from this EVIL EMPIRE.

    • Gary
      May 31, 2021

      The opening statement of your comment reminds me of Linton
      in Court. The Judge ask Linton’s Lawyer where is Linton’s evidence, The Lawyer answered it’s in his head, the same goes for you. What you are conceiving and assuming about Dominica is in your head, lol. What is in your head has no effect as to what is really happening in Dominica, it is your head store what ever you want in it.

    • May 31, 2021

      Better to have a juvenile in an adult body as leader, who is improving the lives of many than to have baby leaders in adult bodies always crying for milk….

      • DAFriend
        June 1, 2021

        You said it, improving the lives of a few. All of them faithful disciples of that man. All the others, in his own words, go to hell…! I put it to you, your PM is the most bend person I’ve come across in my life. The question now, what does that make you??

  9. Not A Mudslinger
    May 29, 2021

    Oh shucksie, Antigua pulled a fast a one on Dominica with Choksi. Bon Dieu! That was a bold face move which took a lot of moxie. I have not seen such a slight of hand since my visit to a casino in Biloxi.

    Don’t hold your breath while hoping for full disclosure on alleged fugitive Choksi as Brown and Skerrit will hold one hand while their lips remain sealed by epoxy.

  10. Mark
    May 29, 2021

    Let the process play out and then comment on the facts. All this speculation on the matter is not enlightening to anyone. We know that a fugitive who is currently wanted for embezzlement by the Indian authorities and who resided in Antigua was apprehended in Dominica. Great job by law enforcement. This individual is not a terrorist and posses no threat to Dominica or its citizenry therefore no need for PM to issue a statement.

    FYI, there are SCUMBUMS like this individual located all over the world. They are able to get in even in countries with the most sophisticated surveillance therefore don’t be so hard on Dominica when someone enters the country backdoor.

  11. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 29, 2021

    Admin I see you have  not printed my comments; come what may the comments I submitted can be substantiated; gag order or not the story is already all over the world; it on Reuters!
    And here is a subsequent report, similar to what I submitted! 
    ” This Qatar-registered business jet, a Bombardier Global Express 5000, a long-range transport, has arrived at Dominica’s primitive Douglas-Charles Airport. Was it sent by the Government of India to repatriate its Most Wanted ($2bn) fugitive ?
    Is it India’s luxury version of Con Air ?
    Or did Choksi’s lawyers charter it to whisk him away, should they prevail on Tuesday ? Stay tuned for the answer, which will appear on this blog as soon as a decision is released. On another note, some sources are saying that Choksi actually has a Dominica CBI passport/ If so, he has a real problem.  Section 7 on the Dominica passport states:”DUAL NATIONALITY. Citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica who are also citizens of foreign countries cannot avail…

    ADMIN: Your comment was published. We are sifting through the multiple reports and will continue to follow this story.

  12. Felippa
    May 28, 2021

    Why would the judge issue a gag order unless they did not want further information getting out?

    • Ibo France
      May 31, 2021

      Look at who is presiding over this case. Is it by accident? What else do you expect but what obtains presently.

      The judiciary and the legislative arms of government in Dominica seem to work hand in glove. Corruption has pervaded every public institution in Dominica under the present stewardship of the most rotten, unschooled, unethical leader in the Western Hemisphere.

  13. Birds of à feather
    May 28, 2021

    Understanding how the two Caribbean leaders that are wrapped up in this mess, and knowing how Caribbean leaders have a reputation of tricking OM Skerrit for a bowl of soup, I would not be surprised to hear that Mehul Choksi bought a Dominica CBI passport too.

  14. KID ON THE BLOCK
    May 28, 2021

    Bravo! ALL you standing outside there like what shall I do!? A man who has committed so much crime in his birth country and wanted by the authorities ALL YOU RUSHING to defend him just because ALL YOU hear he has PLENTY money; but the one of YOU ALL OWN, you ALL left him to stand alone to battle his case until he felt so humiliated he had to redraw himself from the case.!
    ALL you ALL care about is MONEY. From leader to Lawyers to supporters is money money money, irrespective of the source but is one set ALL YOU see that corrupt. You all don’t mind tarnishing the country, what a shame.

    • Ibo France
      May 29, 2021

      Again, any person who runs afoul of the law, regardless of the charges against him, is entitled to legal representation. Only a person of low intelligence will excoriate lawyers for offering their service to those in need of it.

      Look at the bigger picture and ask yourself. Why Dominica and not any of the other neighboring islands this fugitive of the law was deposited ? The reason is crystal clear. The popular perception around the world, is that, the political leadership of Dominica has a penchant to accommodate the sums of the earth.

      If Dominica was well known for its propriety, adherence to good governance and zero tolerance for corruption no international miscreants would seek safe harbor here.

      • KID ON THE BLOCK
        May 31, 2021

        Did I say the man wasn’t entitled to a lawyer?
        Only ONE with no come sense would interpret this comment like you did.
        Like I’ve said before, you may have beat some books, but education is not common sense.
        YOU playing smart by using words out of context to play on the minds of your “FOLLOWERS “to give you a thumbs up; but with all due respect to you, you are far from being clever.
        This only shows how bias, deceitful, corrupt and wicked and dictatorial you and gang are. If if not YOU ALL’s way, then it’s no way.
        I am, what I am and I’m not here to live up to your expectation nor do I expect you to live up to mine.

      • Gary
        May 31, 2021

        I have always told you that you are not wise, writing articulate does constitute a wise person, it is sad what your Political partisan beliefs has done to you or beliefs in general can do to a person. When you say quote, “Only a person of low intelligence will excoriate lawyers for offering their service to those in need of it,” lets go back for a while, the one Plaintiff who remains in criminal complaint against The Government for treating, don’t you think he needs a Lawyer or Lawyers to help him now the case that has gone back to the Magistrate Court As to the present matter, do you honestly think that these lawyers care about Mr.Mehul Choksi, this is only another convenient way in their agenda to obtain political mileage, that’s all it is, convenience is the name of the game, a tool used to advance a political agenda.

        The Mehul Choksi matter will soon come to light This I will tell you Mehul Choksi did not enter Dominica illegally, have you not figure it out.

    • %
      May 29, 2021

      @KID
      More garbage from a preschooler.
      Even if he had murdered MILLIONS of people , he still has right to a hearing.
      My question is was Gaston and Liar in Chief Skerrit participants in the episode?

    • Nitish
      May 30, 2021

      Very valid points dear.
      Citizens of Dominican Republic should demand their govt to send Mehul India.

    • Frank N Stein
      May 31, 2021

      You talking to Skerrit right? You should forget the lawyers and ask yourself the real questions here and all the secrecy your PM have surrounding that case. What is he afraid of that may come out? The lawyers are not interested in saving him, they want to get the truth out to the public. You know that but you shame.

    • If we knew better
      May 31, 2021

      You too …… We know the indian man going jail one way or another. that is not our concern you childish …… Our issue, is that he was sent here to do Dominica to do the dirty work of Gaston Brown when the man was kidnapped and beaten and tortured (according to Choksi’s account) while being brought here . Skerrit saying nothing. All now Cobra on radio saying the man was illegally smuggled as he was NOT accounted for upon entry. His name was nowhere on the manifest upon entry in the north. Now who are these people who brought him here? Where are they? Word is the indian officials are still here. Will they be charged for kidnapping and human trafficking? Send the gentleman to his country of origin and nationality. ANTIGUA. We should not be involved in this little game with Gaston Brown. We already have enough corruption to deal with, to be still involved on a regional level. What are the other CARICOM heads of state saying about this? OECS heads?? OECS Ambassador? Everybody mute? that that good for all of all you.

  15. dissident
    May 28, 2021

    Skerrit, de police commissioner and de minister of security will now announce that they are unable to speak on the matter because of the court order!
    In our government head Choksi came here illegally…. but they never arrested the captain of the boat, neither did they impound de boat!
    Dat gag order sounds like a fancy way to put your tail between your legs and go back to the round table.
    The narrative of that story sounds like a confusion…. you need to clean up dat mess…..dat story is viral outside of Dominica.
    Damage control mode!!!!
    Unbelievable!

  16. %
    May 28, 2021

    Are there hot potatoes (patat chaud) in the LYING mouths of stuttering Blackmore and Liar in chief Skerrit? Are they on island?
    Are they waiting for the Anou Parle Sot Programme?
    I cant believe that the two most irresponsible, unfit and insultive misleaders of the polluted and highly corrupt DLP are suddenly in hibernation.
    We need “””BOOT ON THE GROUND”””!!!
    Allison Diazani Madueke
    NG Lapseng
    Francesco Corollo
    Ali Reza Zibahalat Monfared
    Rudulph King
    Mehul Choksi, et al…
    Is Dominica the corruption island of the caribbean?

  17. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 28, 2021

    Lady, so called judge; your scenario about gag-order is total nonsense!
    You all can hide Roosevelt and Dominica, including the judicial system fault from his foolish supporters, but the world exposes it.
    While you are pretending you are all powerful, we now know what this criminal is wanted for in India.
    Here it is: ” Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted in India for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 core of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank.”
    Some of us live, while others exists in what appears to be a very large world, but in reality a very small world.
    So, what do we see in common between the criminal, and Roosevelt Skerrit?
    Tip, clue: we have a certain doctor in Dominica named doctor Punjab eh!
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!
    I wonder; someone said Gaston did  on the authority of Roosevelt allow the criminal to enter Dominica illegally?
    I cannot submit all the information I am privy to; however, in the complete article, someone cited…

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      May 28, 2021

      Continue:
      However, in the complete article, someone cited something is fishy!

      Now here is some mess:

      “Brown said Dominica has agreed to Choksi’s repatriation, and Antigua will not accept him back. Brown said he has requested PM Skerrit and law enforcement in Dominica to not return Choksi to Antigua where he has legal, and constitutional protection as citizen.”

      They say I am crazy; but I know that I know how to read; so let me ask how can someone be a citizen of a country, in this case Antigua, and the Prime Minister of that country Antigua is preventing a citizen of Antigua from returning to his home country?

      Something is wrong and Roosevelt; “Dr. Punjab” of Dominica neck is yoked into it!
      Don’t forget audience Roosevelt bought his Ph. D from a non-accredited university out of Punjab, and the fugitive is wanted on fraud charges for money out of the Bank of Punjab!

  18. KalingoJustice
    May 28, 2021

    :?: More and more, the one man rogue regime of the slave plantation island mentality called dominica,continue to prove how roguish and criminal they are, and how much they are involved in criminal activities!!! Those of us who are out of that island, should stay where we are in more civilized societies. Even the one man rogue regime does not want his children to be born on the island he wants to lead forever!!!

  19. Robertsen
    May 28, 2021

    Something is very fishy…!

  20. Eyeronee
    May 28, 2021

    This is all very grubby isn’t it ? No statement from the PM makes it even seedier and gives the impression he is somehow wrapped up in it. Dominica is starting to look like a sewer for the world’s human waste.

    • Ibo France
      May 29, 2021

      Eyeronne, you are painfully harsh but honest. Dominica has become a pariah nation where the sums of the earth come to hang out. CORRUPTION attracts CORRUPTION.

      SWEET NATURE ISLE. where have you gone! We long for you!

  21. %
    May 28, 2021

    Only now he is being quarantined???… OMG!!
    Gag order????? Was it Martin Luther King who said “”Truth crushed to earth shall rise again””???
    The secret which Choksi holds, must be revealed one day soon, by Choksi himself… When corrupt leaders are sunk in corruption, like Dominicas “Liar in Chief” and ‘con artist’ plus Gaston that’s the result.
    Skerrit is so corrupt that Gaston shipped his Antigua hot potato to him in Dominica.
    The evil creature and stuttering Blackmore have since lost their tongues…Both have gone MOO MOO!!!
    You call that CORRUPTION ON STEROIDS in Dominica!!

  22. Jonathan Y St Jean
    May 28, 2021

    The Attorney general of Dominca is either a novice or a corrupt legal operative. How could the chief legal person in the government not use his knowledge of the law and his power to ensure that this matter was being handled correctly. When it came to stealing of elections and harassing of the opposition, he was on top of these and very vocal. Now that Choksi was brought to Dominca against his will, how could the AG want to seek to prosecute the man for something he didn’t do. What a joke. The entire government is a joke. This saga is a hot mess. Where is Tony Astaphan? He’s always quick to open his mouth but now he’s gone moomoo. Every rope has an end

    • If we knew better
      May 31, 2021

      The Attorney General is neither. He is a wicked man who uses his own selective interpretation of the law to execute his own agenda. Remember when he said that cannabis, by no uncertain terms will not be legal in Dominica in the foreseeable future? Again i say Levi Peter is a pompous and wicked man who doesnt have Dominica’s best interest at heart. Another one sucking from the fat of the land,………………………………while ensuring the status quo of corruption continues to their benefit.

      In other cases like the electoral review and the CBI issues, go back and look at his responses to why things cannot or rather i should say will not be changed. He is a detriment to actual progress and development of the nation. Its a wonder we cannot vote him out of office.

    • Pipo
      May 31, 2021

      You can forget about our A.G. He qualified as a barrister in London but is no longer registered to practice there. Another lame duck like the head of our State College, people that have nowhere else to go and are left to dance to tune of pied piper Skerrit.

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