London, Sep 12: Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Wednesday claimed that he had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley before leaving India. What is, however, not clear is how many days before fleeing the country did Mallya meet Jaitley. It is also being debated weather Mallya met Jaitley in India or in Geneva.
Mallya earlier today appeared before a London court for a hearing in his extradition case, during which the judge reviewed a video of the Mumbai jail cell prepared by Indian authorities for the embattled liquor tycoon. The judge has reserved verdict for December 10.
When asked if he has convinced the Court the he has the means to pay what he said he will, Mallya said,''Obviously, that is why a settlement offer has been made. The hearing is on 18th September.''
During the hearing, prosecution lawyer told the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, "What Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher internally knew was totally different from what it was telling the banks. Kingfisher Airlines misrepresented facts about performance when applying for loans."
Outside the court, Mallya, as per news agency ANI, said, "I met the finance minster to settle matters before I left. The banks had filed objections to my settlement letters..I obviously don't agree with what the prosecution is alleging. Let the Court decide."
Mallya also said that he felt like a scapegoat, adding that his conscience is clear.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss, who has been on bail on an extradition warrant since his arrest in UK last April, is fighting extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs. 9,000 crores.
At the previous hearing in July in the Westminster Magistrates' Court in, Judge Emma Arbuthnot had asked the Indian authorities to submit a "step by step video" of the Barrack 12 of Arthur Road Jail for "the avoidance of doubt" over the availability of natural light in the cell where the businessman is expected to be detained pre-trial, during trial and in the event he is convicted by the Indian courts.
The extradition trial, which opened at the London court on 4 December last year, is aimed at laying out a prima facie case of fraud against Mallya.
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.