Nirav Modi Expects Release from London Prison ‘This Year’ | World News – Times of India


LONDON: Indian fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi has told a London court, where he appeared on Thursday in relation to an unpaid fine, that he expects to be released from prison “hopefully… some time this year”.
Nirav (52) appeared via videolink from Thameside prison at Barkingside magistrates’ court to answer questions over the non-payment of a £150,247 (almost Rs 1.6 crore) fine.
The fine was imposed owing to his non-payment of a costs order made against him on Dec 15, 2022 by Lord Justice Stuart-Smith in the high court.
On Thursday, the court heard he had made eight payments from March until Nov 20, 2023 towards the debt but had not paid any more since, meaning that £70,247 (Rs 73 lakh) was outstanding. Asked to explain this, he said in an American accent: “I am in prison. I tried to raise as much as I could and will continue and expect to start resuming in March or April.”
Nirav was dressed in fashionable green coatigan and jeans and looked relaxed. He had earlier given two thumbs-up to the magistrates to demonstrate he could hear.
The clerk said: “If you are in default, the court must consider a custodial sentence. You are already in prison. If we decide to take action that can be separate to what you are there for. You said you are in prison for some time?” To which Nirav responded: “I’ve been in prison for five years unconvicted.”
“There are some legal proceedings,” he said, without explaining what they were.

“Any date in mind when you will be released?” the clerk asked.

“Hopefully I will be released some time this year,” Nirav answered.

On Dec 15, 2022 a judge had refused Nirav permission to appeal his extradition in the supreme court and ordered him to pay the Crown Prosecution Service for their costs, assessed at £150,247 incurred in respect of their counsel in the HC and magistrates’ court. He should have been extradited to India within 28 days, but has not gone back.
Nirav did not pay the costs order on time so was brought before Barkingside magistrates’ court last March when he promised to pay £10,000 (Rs 10.5 lakh) per month towards the fine, which he said he would “borrow”.
Magistrates on Thursday ordered him to resume his £10,000 monthly payments from March 7 until the debt is cleared. “You can assure magistrates you will honour this,” the clerk asked.
“Yes. Whatever I’ve said in the past I have always honoured,” Nirav replied.
Nirav faces charges in India of defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 7,000 crore, money laundering and interference with evidence and witnesses.


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