Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya appears in UK court on new charges

 03 Oct 2017 - 19:00

Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya appears in UK court on new charges
Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya leaves Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London on Ocober 3, 2017. AFP / Adrian DENNIS

AFP

London: Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya appeared in a London court on Tuesday after being rearrested earlier in the day amid an ongoing extradition request from India, where he is accused of fraud.

The flamboyant financier, who co-owns Formula One team Force India, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court after Indian authorities laid further money laundering charges.

Dressed in a blue jacket and black trousers, Mallya spoke only to confirm his name and address and to reject the new extradition request, filed to take into account the latest charges.

He was released on bail immediately after Tuesday's arrest, and is due to face a full extradition hearing starting on December 4.

Mallya left India in March 2016 owing more than $1 billion after defaulting on loan payments to state-owned banks and allegedly misusing the funds.

He was originally arrested and bailed in April following an extradition request from India in early February.

Indian investigators demanded the 61-year-old be brought home to face fraud charges related to the bank defaults.

Mallya insisted he was innocent and denied fleeing the charges in his homeland, following the legal hearing in London in June.

"I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them," he said outside court.

"I have not eluded any court. If it is my lawful duty to be here, I'm happy to be here," he added.

"I've given enough evidence to prove my case."

Known for his lavish lifestyle, Mallya made Kingfisher beer a global brand and ran a now-defunct airline with the same name.

Mallya stepped down as the director of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore last year.

His financial dealings are being investigated by the federal Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, a financial crimes agency.

Mallya was once known as the "King of Good Times" but dropped off India's most wealthy list in 2014, engulfed by the massive debts of his grounded carrier Kingfisher Airlines.

He has been living in a sprawling $15 million (13 million euro) mansion in southeast England but has denied absconding.