Mehul Choksi’s lawyers have written to the Registrar of the High Court, Cecile Hill, to notify the Court of an article written about the businessman and to express their client’s concerns about his continued safety.
Choksi was forcibly removed from Antigua on May 23, 2021 and taken to Dominica where he spent months before being returned to Antigua for medical treatment, which could not be offered in the Nature Isle.
In the letter, dated January 16, 2023, the law firm of Richards and Company notes that Choksi has proceedings before the High Court, with the most recent having been on November 10, 2022.
At that time, Justice Robertson heard arguments in an application regarding Choksi’s application for an Effective Inquiry into what is being termed “grave human rights breaches that he suffered” when he was abducted, tortured and forcibly removed from Antigua.
Mention was also made of the Kenneth Rijock article of January 12, in which, the attorney says, a number of seriously false and defamatory statements were made about the judiciary, the police and Choksi.
The article made assertions of bribery to evade extradition and improper meetings with police officers, all alleging a conspiracy to thwart INTERPOL’s efforts to detain Choksi for extradition to his native India.
Rijock also claimed that the courts in Antigua have ordered Choksi’s extradition – which is untrue – and that the proceedings were being delayed by judges and law enforcers, but only after alleged substantial bribes.
Choksi’s legal team therefore felt it prudent to bring the article to the court’s attention.
Reportedly the article has been widely circulated in a number of international media outlets, including The Hindustan Times, The Economic Times of India and ANI News.
According to Choksi’s lawyers, “Given the wide-ranging reach of the re-publications, the baseless and defamatory article has the clear and significant potential to undermine the justice system of Antigua and Barbuda, both at home and abroad.”
It is also felt that it unquestionably risks bringing the administration of the Antiguan justice system into disrepute on a totally false basis.
However, the lawyers say that Choksi has complete confidence in the independence and impartiality of the local justice system. But allegations of this nature could be interpreted as “malignly calculated” to influence the ongoing court proceedings, the lawyers say.
The legal team finds it very sinister that these “baseless and defamatory” claims are being made when a judgment is pending and only serves to heighten Choksi’s concerns for his safety.
The letter was also copied to Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney.