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British court allows extradition of Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi to US

A judge at United Kingdom’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday rejected the arguments made by Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi’s counsel and ordered the case to the Secretary of State for her decision.

He can choose to appeal the decision under section 92 of the Extradition Act 2003 once the Home Secretary makes one.

Naqvi, whose extradition hearing started last year, is among several people charged by US prosecutors with being part of an international scheme to defraud investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Naqvi previously denied the charges through a public relations firm. Naqvi’s lawyers had argued that US authorities intended to rely extensively on the evidence of his co-accused Sev Vettivettipillai, a former managing director of Abraaj, who was based in the UK.

In New York, he might be held in either the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) or the Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC), the defence said, adding conditions would be incompatible with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

If convicted in the US, Naqvi was most likely to be sentenced to over 30 years’ imprisonment and could begin serving that sentence in a high security institution, the document said further.

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