Abraaj Group returned cash with curiosity to Bill Gates Foundation, others: witness tells UK court docket

Arif Naqvi is amongst a number of individuals charged by US prosecutors with being a part of an alleged worldwide scheme to defraud buyers together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo : File

LONDON: A witness within the UK court docket on Friday mentioned that the Pakistani enterprise tycoon Arif Naqvi’s Abraaj Group had returned all cash to Bill Gates Foundation and different American buyers with curiosity.

At the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the place Arif Naqvi’s US extradition listening to is presently being held, a witness informed the choose that the previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Abraaj Group had ensured that each one transactions in query by US buyers in relation to the Healthcare Fund have been paid again to these buyers in full with curiosity by December 31 in 2017.

This inquiry was initiated by the Bill Gates Foundation, following which, Naqvi had approached the court docket to refuse his extradition to the US the place the previous Abraaj Group founder and chief govt faces fraud and cash laundering prices.

Arif Naqvi had maintained that there was no wrongdoing.

Passing statements of reality offered by cross-examinations of by each Naqvi’s barrister, Hugo Keith QC and the US authorities’s barrister, Mark Summers QC, witnesses revealed two extra crucial items of knowledge.

The court docket heard that Abraaj Private Equity Fund VI (APEF VI), the flagship fund which had raised a document $three billion earlier than Abraaj’s collapse, was by no means truly drawn down and no investor’s capital was ever invested or misplaced from that fund.

Also learn: Abraaj Group’s founder Arif Naqvi asks UK court docket to reject US extradition request

Separately, the court docket additionally heard that the US authorities’s entity named Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which was additionally talked about within the indictment, was not an investor however a debt supplier which had been repaid in full, opposite to the indictment alleging in any other case.

Keith QC informed the Chief Magistrate that Naqvi continues to disclaim the allegations within the indictment that he personally misappropriated cash for his profit and needs to submit proof to indicate his innocence however will respect the rules of the Court and solely communicate to the bars towards extradition.

He additionally maintained {that a} trial ought to happen, if any, within the UK, and that US prisons violate Article three human rights and that employees of those prisons should not allowed to speak concerning the horrible situations. Witnesses have been produced on each arguments.

During the trial that may final until the center of subsequent week, the legal professionals for the US authorities didn’t produce any proof to indicate that their prisons didn’t violate human rights however revealed to the court docket that if Naqvi was extradited to the US, they’d ask the US choose to grant him bail.

In itself an unprecedented supply, seemingly in response to Naqvi’s legal professionals advance submissions on appalling federal jail situations in New York the place he could be held, doubtlessly for years earlier than a trial in New York may even happen.

Naqvi’s legal professionals have rejected the supply telling the court docket that they didn’t consider the supply had substance, provided that the choice within the US may solely be taken by a choose.

A witness was produced earlier than the court docket who mentioned that there was an actual danger {that a} choose wouldn’t agree with any supply and detain him to both the Metropolitan Correctional Centre (MCC) or Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC).

Arif Naqvi is amongst a number of individuals charged by the US prosecutors with being a part of an alleged worldwide scheme to defraud buyers together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Naqvi and others are dealing with 16 counts together with fraud, cash laundering and racketeering, generally known as RICO, created to focus on organised crime such because the mafia. The indictment involves 291 years if convicted within the USA, the place Naqvi doesn’t consider he’ll get a good trial.