Judge issues gag order on matter involving Indian fugitive

from left: Julien Prevost, Wayne Marsh, Wayne Norde and Cara Shillingford-Marsh/ DNO Photo

Dominica News Online: High Court Judge Justice  Bernie Stephenson-Brooks 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 the Indian 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 then sparked a manhunt 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 of Julien Prevost, Wayne Norde, Wayne Marsh and Cara Shillingford-Marsh had earlier stated 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, an application was filed by the attorney to prevent his removal and 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 was 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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  1. He is a Citizen of Antigua and Barbuda. Send him back to that Country. I would like to hear the story from his mouth,only. Of exactly what happened .

    • Friends, He is facing Criminal charges in India and he is Citizen of India by Born. To avoid legal charges he escaped India and BOUGHT Antigua citizen. He should be immediately deported to India to face the cases legally in india, it is sad to see that since 2018 Antigua not yet deported him to India and Dominica also shows hesitant to deport him to India where he belongs.

  2. Looking forward to the movie. The arts having been given a directive to be more prominent in our society. This could be his first production in film making. He’ll have a starring role along with Mekhi. Call it: 48 hours to India!

  3. There are so many things regarding this story which I find difficult to believe. This man claims to be too ill to be sent back to India each time extradition is mentioned. He is laughing at The Antiguan Government all the way to the courts.

  4. No one is talking about the kidnappers. So he was just kidnapped and deposited in Dominica where there was a team of lawyers waiting to represent him? If he was kidnapped he is now found, so he should be returned to his home which is Antigua. The alleged crime of kidnapping occured in Antigua, so that is a matter for the Antiguan authority to investigate.

    • Another news outlet reported his legal counsel in Antigua, Justin Simon QC, requested assistance from members of the legal fraternity based in Dominica to represent his client on his behalf.

  5. This shows how inept the CIP unit is. Why did Gaston Browne say send him back to India?
    He gave him an Antiguan Passport. He is Antiguan.


  6. He is Antiguan citizen since 2018. India and Antigua has not extradition treaty. He was kidnapped and brought to Dominaca. So, according to me he should be deported back to Antigua and not to India. The criminal investigation shall be happened against his kidnappers. India should seek his extradition in Antigua Court.

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