New Delhi:

The lawyer for fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who was denied bail in Dominica’s high court, said on Saturday that he cannot be sent back to India until his trial is held in Dominica.

“Until his trial continues in Dominica, he (Mehul Choksi) cannot be sent back to India. We have been given the freedom to reapply for bail after showing our roots in Dominican society. There is no res judicata on bail, “said Mehul Choksi’s attorney, Vijay Aggarwal.

In a major setback for fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, the Dominican High Court denied bail, saying he has no ties to Dominica and that the court cannot impose any conditions that will assure him that he will not abscond.

The Dominican High Court also noted how Choksi proposed that he stay with his brother at the hotel, but that is not a fixed address. The court also noted that his trial has not yet started.

Judge Wynante Adrien-Roberts of the Dominican High Court decided not to grant Mehul Choksi bail after the conclusion of submissions made by both parties.

The court also noted that Mehul Choksi did not offer any strong guarantees in court while seeking bail and is also at risk of flight, Antigua Newsroom reported.

Currently, Choksi has provisional relief from immediate repatriation to India by the Dominican court.

While arguing, Choksi’s lawyer cited medical reasons for the bail and dismissed the risk of flight.

The court’s verdict comes a few days after Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit called Choksi an “Indian citizen” and declared that the courts will decide what happens to the fugitive. He added that the government will protect Choksi’s rights while he awaits trial.

Choksi had disappeared from Antigua on May 23 after dining out and was soon captured in Dominica. Police charged him with illegal entry into Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.

The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with a 13.5 billion rupee fraud at the National Bank of Punjab (GNP).