Accused arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari bail in UK extradition case extended to May 13


PTI, May 7, 2021, 8:18 PM IST

London: A UK court presiding over the extradition case of Sanjay Bhandari, an accused arms dealer and ”proclaimed offender” wanted in India on money laundering charges, extended his bail until May 13.

Bhandari, who was arrested on an extradition warrant in July 2020 and is contesting his extradition to India, was due for a hearing on Friday but District Judge Michael Snow adjourned the case to next week to allow more time for the Indian government to provide further information.

A full hearing in the case has been scheduled between June 7 and 11, but those dates are likely to change during next week’s case management hearing due to scheduling issues.

Back in February, Bhandari, wearing a facemask in compliance with the COVID-19 lockdown requirements in court, was accompanied by his wife and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

The 59-year-old‘s lawyer, Robert Berg, informed the court that he had taken over the case only recently and therefore required additional time to serve evidence in the case.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), appearing on behalf of the Indian authorities, submitted a “rejigged timetable” for the case and CPS counsel Ben Lloyd informed the court that both sides hope to be able to keep to the June hearing dates unless there are “big surprises” thrown up in the defence evidence.

The hearing next week will be another case management hearing before the full extradition hearing in the case.

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 last year and he was arrested a month later on July 15 and remains on bail.

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