03/19/2018 - UK: Vijay Mallya trial to hear evidence from political expert

Vijay Mallya's extradition trial is set to hear more expert witness statements today as the fugitive liquor tycoon's defence seeks to establish that there are no grounds to force him to return to India to face allegations of fraud over his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Lawrence Saez, a professor in the Department of Politics at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS) in London, is set to take the stand first at Westminster Magistrates' Court this morning to give his expert opinion on the Indian political system.

His witness statement will be followed by the second half of the cross-examination of Paul Rex, the banking expert deposed by Mallya's defence last week.

It will also seek to prove that there are no "bars to extradition" and that Mallya is assured a fair trial in India over his erstwhile airline's alleged default of over Rs 9,000 crores in loans from a consortium of Indian banks.

Yesterday, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had directed the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian government, to clearly lay out its case in its closing submissions because she feels "very uncertain" about how the Indian banks are involving Mallya.

The CPS, representing the Indian government, has argued that the evidence they have presented confirms "dishonesty" on the part of the businessman and that there are no bars to him being extradited from the UK to face Indian courts.

Mallya's defence team has deposed a series of expert witnesses to claim he had no "fraudulent" intentions and that he is unlikely to get a fair trial in India.