Indian tycoon forced from court and accosted by reporters as fire alarm disrupts major fraud trial

Press gather around accused UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya to ask impromptu questions as he angrily refuses to take part in 'trial by media' on London street

Jack Hardy
Monday 04 December 2017 14:45
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Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya followed by press after fire alarm forces him out of court

An Indian business tycoon due to face extradition proceedings has insisted fraud allegations against him are unfounded - after an evacuation of the court building brought him face to face with journalists.

Entrepreneur Vijay Mallya, chairman of the UB Group and co-owner of Silverstone-based Sahara Force India F1 team, is wanted in his home country and was due before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday.

But a fire alarm forced him instead to walk into the glare of the media spotlight outside the central London building.

Reporters from across the globe had gathered to see the drinks and aviation magnate arrive and quickly seized the opportunity to question him.

TV crews from India pursued Mr Mallya haphazardly around the pavement as he tried to avoid being cornered.

He told reporters the accusations against him were unfounded, while angrily telling one broadcaster he would not stand for “trial by media”.

Mr Mallya was arrested in April by the Metropolitan Police's extradition unit on behalf of authorities in India, where he is wanted in connection with money laundering and high value bank demands.

India's Enforcement Directorate has been gathering evidence as part of its investigation into the tycoon's debts, totalling £977 million, linked to Mr Mallya's now-defunct airline Kingfisher.

PA

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