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UK judge grants bail to Vijay Mallya till April 2 in extradition case

Mallya was arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant in April, 2017 and has been out on bail on a bond worth 650,000 pounds

Press Trust of India  |  London 

F1 Force India team boss Vijay Mallya waits outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London

The presiding over the trial of has granted to the embattled baron till April 2 as she heard arguments from the defence against the admissibility of presented by the

The trial, which opened at the on December 4, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of against the tycoon, who has been based in the since he left in March, 2016.

was arrested by Yard on an warrant in April, 2017 and has been out on on a bond worth 650,000 pounds.

Mallya's hearing on Thursday was expected to be one of the final hearings in the case but it remained inconclusive as the defence is yet to complete its arguments, which seek to demolish the Indian government's case.

The (CPS) is expected to respond at the next hearing itself after the defence concludes its arguments. That hearing date is yet to be determined but expected within the next three weeks.

The 62-year-old was back in the dock at Westminster Magistrates' in as his defence team laid out arguments against the admissibility of much of the presented by the

Due to prior diary commitments, no date has been set for the next hearing on the matter and has been bailed until April 2. Both sides will determine a date to return to to complete their representations on the admissibility of in the case within the next three weeks.

During Thursdays hearing, Mallya's barrister, Clare Montgomery, argued that evidence that was claimed as a "blueprint of dishonesty" by the CPS was in fact a privileged conversation between Mallya and his about "legal advice in clear contemplation of litigation" and hence should be inadmissible.

On a separate category of evidence presented by the Indian government, Montgomery questioned the reliability of the investigating officers in the case.

She pointed to over 150 pages of "near identical material" purporting to be statements of witnesses taken under Section 161 of the Indian CrPC.

Dismissing the nature and source of these witness statements, Mallya's legal team claimed they do not meet "obligations" under the India-extradition treaty to provide "proper" statements.

"They do not appear to be in any way an account of things that witnesses would have said but rather seem to be somebody else's analysis put into the mouths of the witnesses, down to the spelling mistakes," Montgomery said, adding that the documents were "identically reproduced" with not only the same words but also the same typing errors.

will rule on the evidence and set a timetable for closing arguments and her verdict on whether the UK-based can be extradited to to face the and money laundering allegations involving his now-defunct

Arbuthnot had also sought further clarifications related to availability of natural light and medical assistance at Barrack 12 of on Arthur Road, where Mallya is to be held if he is extradited from Britain.

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

If the rules in favour of the Indian government, the UK will have two months to sign Mallya's extradition order.

However, both sides will have the chance to appeal in higher courts in the UK against the chief magistrate's verdict.

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 14:06 IST