South Asian Insider
Accused Arms Dealer Sanjay Bhandari's UK Extradition Hearing In June 2021
Sanjay Bhandari, who was arrested on an extradition warrant back in July, was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates'Court in London on Thursday
(SAI Bureau) A UK court presiding over the extradition case of Sanjay Bhandari, an accused arms dealer wanted in India on money laundering charges, has set June 7, 2021 as the date for the start of proceedings.
Bhandari, who was arrested on an extradition warrant back in July, was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday for a case management hearing.
But District Judge DJ Goldsmith said Friday's hearing had been vacated as all outstanding matters had been dealt with between the parties, with directions given via email.
"Mr Bhandari's bail conditions have been extended until February 5, 2021," said Judge Goldspring, indicating the next date for a bail hearing in the case.
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing the Indian government in extradition proceedings, said Bhandari is sought by the Indian authorities for prosecution for money laundering contrary to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002.
He faces cases against him in India filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The Indian government's extradition request for Bhandari had been certified by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on June 16 and he was arrested a month later on July 15. He was granted bail on a 120,000-pound security and the surrender of his passport, with other restrictions including a daily curfew at his home in central London and regular visits to a police station.
Meanwhile, the latest set of hearings in the extradition case of another alleged economic offender, diamond merchant Nirav Modi's, concluded in the same court building on Thursday.
The 49-year-old jeweller, wanted in the USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case, has been lodged at Wandsworth Prison in London since his arrest in March last year. His case will now return to Westminster Magistrates' Court for further hearings on November 3 and then in early December before a judgment expected at the end of the year or early next year.
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