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UPDATE: Gag order in place after Choksi appears in court


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UPDATE: Gag order in place after Choksi appears in court
Mehul Choksi (GP)

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ROSEAU – High Court Judge Bernie Stephenson-Brooks issued a gag order on Friday, restricting information or comments from being made publicly in the matter involving Indian national Mehul Choksi, who arrived in the island illegally by boat on Sunday.

His lawyers filed a writ of habeas corpus, and the matter was dealt with “in chambers” on Friday.

The High Court has kept in place the interim injunction restricting the repatriation of the India-born Choksi, a naturalised citizen of Antigua & Barbuda, until the matter is fully ventilated in court.

The court also ordered the respondents to file and serve their affidavits in response to the application filed on or before 10:30 a.m. (local time) on Tuesday, June 1.

The High Court said the applicant must file any affidavit in reply, if necessary, on or before 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The judge said the application for habeas corpus will be heard in open court on Wednesday, June 12, and “there shall be no publication or discussion or notification of the press regarding this matter without leave and or permission of the court”.

Choksi, 62, has since been placed in a government quarantine facility after he was taken to the Dominica China Friendship Hospital for medical attention and for the administration of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Choksi was granted Antigua & Barbuda citizenship four years ago under the island’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Indian judicial authorities want him extradited to face charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonesty, including delivery of property, corruption and money laundering, which he denies.

(CMC)