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Nikhil Gupta Case: US Govt Declines To Share Material With Defence Counsel

On 4 January, Nikhil Gupta's lawyers had filed a motion to compel discovery in a New York court.

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The US government declined to share material relating to the charges against Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national accused of plotting an assassination on American soil, before his appearance in the country.

The latest: US federal prosecutors objected to providing defence materials to Gupta's counsel, according to a report by PTI on Thursday, 11 January.

  • The information will only be provided upon Gupta's appearance in a New York court and arraignment in the case, federal prosecutors reportedly said.

Know more: On 4 January, Gupta's lawyers had filed a motion to compel discovery in the US District Court of Southern New York.

  • On 8 January, the US District Court Jude had asked the prosecution to respond to the motion filed by Gupta's lawyers.

“The government stands ready to provide discovery to him, like any other criminal defendant, promptly upon his appearance and arraignment in this District. His motion to compel discovery should be denied,” US Attorney Damian Williams was quoted as saying.

The charges against Gupta are murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

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In a nutshell: An alleged weapons dealer and drug trafficker, 52-year-old Nikhil Gupta (also known as Nick) came to be at the centre of diplomatic tensions between the US and India.

  • In November 2023, the US government claimed that an alleged Indian government staffer had recruited Nikhil Gupta around May last year to plot the assassination of pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.

  • In exchange, the purported Indian government official allegedly promised to have a criminal case against Gupta dismissed.

  • However, the plot to kill Pannun (who is a citizen of Canada and the US) was foiled.

  • In June 2023, Gupta was reportedly arrested in the Czech Republic's Prague and is being held there currently.

  • The US government is seeking his extradition to America.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India recently dismissed a habeas corpus plea filed on behalf of Gupta, citing the sensitive nature of the case.

Anything else? The Indian government announced the formation of a high-level committee to probe the security concerns flagged by the US, following a bilateral meet in November 2023.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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